In case you couldn’t tell, I’m kind of a sucker for drama, hence the title of this post and the fact that I haven’t written a blog post in almost a year. Bear with me, though, because I hope that what I have to say in this one resonates with at least one person.
First, let me tell you what this post is not. It is not bashing prayer by any means. I think prayer is super important, and it can do amazing things in our hearts and lives, and it is how we communicate with God. So, please don’t walk away from this post thinking that I don’t want anybody to pray, ever.
On another note, it is not about me. This isn’t about me throwing a fit over not getting something I want, or alternatively about me actually secretly wanting attention but not wanting to come out and say it. This is not a post whining and complaining about the actions of others directed toward me (although that certainly sparked what I want to say). I am a firm believer in taking responsibility for your own actions, emotions, and reactions. Yes, this post is a conglomerate of my thoughts and opinions that have accumulated, but I hope that you’ll agree with me that this post isn’t just me spewing my thoughts, but a call for all of us to move in action.
Okay, now, let’s get into it. Like I said, prayer is awesome. I firmly believe that prayer warriors play a vital role in bringing forth the Kingdom of God. I absolutely believe that when we pray for ourselves and others, God listens, and he is moved by our intercession, and he answers our prayers in his time and in his way. I absolutely think prayer is really important in times and in situations beyond our control.
There it is, though. Beyond our control. If all we ever do is think to ourselves, or even pray out loud, about what we want, nothing is going to happen. If I pray for safety driving home, and then drive like a maniac (or don’t even press the gas pedal and sit motionless in the middle of the road), chances are that someone’s going to hit me or I’m going to hit them. If I pray for friendship and companionship (something that, I’ll admit, has been at the forefront of my prayers for the last 20 months of my life in Colorado), and then hide out in my room all day and avoid everyone, there’s a good chance that I’m just going to continue to sit isolated and never meet anyone new. (If you’re wondering, yes, that has definitely happened.)
My point is this: yes, prayer is important. Yes, we need to be in communication with God. Yes, we need to pray for others, particularly when others are struggling with problems with their health or are under distress. Yes, we need to pray for provision and protection for the orphans and widows around the world who are helpless and without a voice. But if all we ever do is pray, and we don’t act on our prayers or work to help those around us who need it, nothing is going to happen. God doesn’t just want us to talk to him; he wants us to be the hands and feet of Christ, to go forth into the world. Not just think about it. Not just talk about it. But be actively involved in it.
I started this post with the title, “Don’t Pray for Me,” and let me explain why I added the “for me” part. I don’t want someone to only pray for me if my issue is something that is directly within their realm of control, and I don’t want to only pray for others if I can do something to help them. If a person tells me they are in need of food or need money for a necessity, I’m not going to say, “I’ll pray for you,” and then walk away. To be honest, chances are, they’ll never cross my mind again. Instead, I’m going to buy them a meal, or two, or pay for their groceries, or put gas in their car for them. Then, of course, I’m going to pray for provision for that person, but I could do something to help, and I took advantage of that opportunity.
I have certainly been put in positions where I can’t do anything else but pray. For example, I’m not an oncologist; I cannot directly help somebody with a diagnosis of cancer. (I could totally help to ease some of the unexpected financial stress, or offer my time and energy in another way that might be helpful, and I encourage people in situations like this to try to find ways to help in a productive and beneficial manner.). But ultimately, in a situation like that, my prayers for that person are the most powerful thing I can offer, because that person is in God’s territory. If someone passes away unexpectedly (or even if it is expected), that kind of grief and loss is in God’s hands, not mine. Again, I personally can’t do or offer more than my own comfort, perhaps my own experience or empathy, but I can pray for the peace that transcends understanding. I can pray for God’s comfort and ease of grief, but I can’t give those things to that person myself. So, like I said, please continue to pray. Lift up the things in this life to God, particularly when you know that your own hands are not enough. Don’t get me wrong; I am not trying to suggest that we on our own can do things without God. But, God prepares us and gives us gifts and abilities, and we need to use them.
So, let’s start moving. Let’s start acting. Hands and feet aren’t meant to sit idly by and watch the world spin on its axis and do nothing. God doesn’t ask us to just think. He asks us to do. He asks us to move, to serve, to bring forth the Kingdom of God. We absolutely need to think about what that means, and use the brilliant brain that God has given each of us to do so, but the brain is not just a thinking machine. It is the organ in our bodies that commands every other part. So, let’s use our brains to their maximum capacity, and use them to move.