With today being the national day of prayer and our world needing it more now than ever, I felt like it was completely appropriate to talk about when you should pray vs when you should do something. I’m just as guilty as the rest who get so wrapped up in our everyday lives that I don’t talk to God nearly as much as I should. But when I do, it’s a beautiful conversation. 9 times out of 10 we’re always asking Him to do something for us but when do we ever just talk to Him and ask him what can we do?
With the #prayfor(insert whoever) movement recently, prayer kind of got a bad rap. People kept saying “your prayers aren’t changing anything.” Or, “Your God isn’t listening to you.” It even crossed my mind that what if I am supposed to DO something? The more time went on the more I realized what God was telling me to do.
Let’s clear things up… This is what we are NOT called to do:
- We’re not called to judge others.
Luke 6:37 says “Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven.” I know it’s easier said than done but even the little judgement we pass when we say “Bless her heart” is wrong. We know it is and we need to fix this in ourselves before we can expect the world to see that following Christ is the way to go.
- We’re not called to force our beliefs on everyone else.
I’ll probably get some heat from this one so let me clarify… “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden… In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.” Matthew 5:14, 16 tells us we don’t have to shove the bible down people’s throat. Show the world God’s grace, love, and mercy and they’ll see His light through us.
Now let’s look at what we ARE called to do as believers:
- Love one another for Love is from God. 1 John 4:7
Simple as that… let’s just love everyone. Love your neighbor, your friend, your enemy, your church, your government, EVERYONE.
- For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your Heavenly Father will also forgive you. Matthew 6:14
Don’t do it out of spite or judgement, do it because it’s in your heart to forgive. Even when someone has done the worst of the worse to you and never apologize, forgive them anyways and do it with an honest heart.
- Therefore, go and make disciples of all nations… Matthew 28:19
Let’s also look at verse 20 which tells us HOW to do this. “Teaching them to obey all that I have commanded you.” You can teach people by just sharing the word, not forcing what you believe on them. It’s the Truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth and if we really believe that His word will be clear without us forcing it.
- Whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me. Matthew 25:40
WOW! Have you ever given to the needy? Or helped someone? Or done anything for someone else who needed it? Well, that was you helping Jesus. Need I say more?
- Be Patient
How many verses can I share about patience? A LOT!!! I like his one… Psalm 37:7-9 “Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for Him; do not fret when people succeed in their ways, when they carry out their wicked schemes.” Hold this thought and let me go into my last point…
Guess what? God calls us to talk to Him – to thank Him, and to ask Him for things. He loves the sound of our voice and can hear our innermost thoughts and it is BEAUTIFUL, my friend. When we are at our lowest of lows He wants to hear our cry and when we’re at our highest of highs he wants to hear our hallelujahs. “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present you requests to God.” Phillipians 4:6.
So when the world tells you your prayers aren’t enough and you need to do something, PRAY and WAIT. God’s timing is perfect. Don’t worry about what the wicked are doing and don’t worry about what the world wants you to do. Lift up those who need Him and thank Him for the ones who will pray with you. Ask Him to heal the land. “If my people, who are called by My name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.” 2 Chronicles 7:14.
Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for your sweet words. Thank you for teaching me to be humble and kind, and patient, and loving. Today I seek you; for guidance and in prayer, that you’ll show me how I can serve you. I ask that you heal this land that is yours and turn your people back to you. I pray for your peace and mercy. I pray that you’ll give our leaders the wisdom and heart to seek you and act with integrity. I pray that you give our military courage and perseverance. I pray that you’ll unite all the churches to reveal your love and serve you. Lastly, I pray that you bless me and my family so that I can return your blessing and help someone else. In your most beautiful name, Amen.