Whenever I turn on the TV or browse the internet, every news story involves crime, violence, death and this year’s Presidential election! Ok…..maybe not EVERY news story, but the media definitely devotes a considerable amount of time to sharing these reports. Although it is necessary to stay informed on what’s going on in the world, constantly hearing such news can become wearisome and discouraging. So in that case, is it better to turn off the television, shut down the internet and escape into oblivion? That may sound good and even work for a minute, but pretending these serious issues don’t exist won’t make them disappear.
So, what do we do? How do we move forward? What is the answer?
Now, I know some may not agree with me. They may even say, “Prayer?! That’s so cliche! That’s not the answer! Time out for praying! Time out for talking! It’s time to DO something!” And for anyone who feels that way, I completely understand where you’re coming from. It’s easy to sit back, pray and, even, talk, so long as it keeps us in our comfort zones. However, the Bible says in James 2:26, that “… faith without works is dead…” In other words, our faith that things will change is activated when we ACT!
So again, what do we do? For instance, how do we end the cycle of wrongful deaths at the hands of law enforcement? The answer is indeed PRAYER! Is that the only action that should be taken? No, but it should be the FIRST step! In fact, prayer should always be the first step. Philippians 4:6 says, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” Notice it says to pray to God “in every situation.” Why should we go to God in EVERY situation? Isaiah 55:8-9 states, “’For My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways,’ declares the Lord. ‘As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways and My thoughts than your thoughts.'” Not even the most skilled and educated individual can surpass God’s wisdom. How to end police brutality, reduce the crime rate and select the best candidate for President are all serious issues that should be presented to the all-knowing, all-powerful God! When we sincerely and faithfully go to Him with our concerns and LISTEN, He provides us with the answers we need in His timing. In some instances, He tells us to be still, while in others, He gives us knowledge, resources and strategies.
Throughout the four Gospels of the New Testament, Jesus is recorded spending time in prayer regularly. He never allowed His title or popularity to convince Him that he no longer needed to pray. In fact, in the garden of Gethsemane, He prayed earnestly to God regarding his assignment of being crucified. While on earth, Jesus was a human who felt pain like you and me. So, one can only imagine that Jesus was not looking forward to an agonizing death. Jesus pleaded with His Father to alter the assignment. However, by the end of the prayer, Jesus knew that God still expected Him to sacrifice His life for all humanity! Rather than taking matters into His own hands, Jesus presented His concern to God the Father, listened and obeyed. Because of His sacrificial death, we all have a chance to be redeemed! I am truly thankful for that prayer in the garden!
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