Let me preface this by saying: I believe and know full well the power of prayer. It is a necessity and is vital to our Nation during such dark times. I am only writing this because I was confronted and convicted of doing exactly what I am about to tell you to stop doing.
Prayer is not where our efforts as Christians should stop. Posting cute icons with hand lettered hashtags such as : #prayfor_______ is not the answer. In fact, I dare to say, it may be more harmful than good.
WHAT ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT?
I know I know. As a Christian, this sounds absolutely preposterous. You know what's sad though? That our Christian culture has become so comfortable and selfish that we only see the "power of prayer" and not the second part of our call to Mission- The power of ACTIONS.
Faith Without Works Is Dead
"14 What does it profit, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can faith save him? 15 If a brother or sister is naked and destitute of daily food, 16 and one of you says to them, “Depart in peace, be warmed and filled,” but you do not give them the things which are needed for the body, what does it profit? 17 Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead."
In this day and age, we see violence and evil doing on a daily basis. We see Natural Disasters wiping out entire countries. We see hundreds injured and body counts as people attend what should be fun events. Yet, go on Facebook and Instagram and while you may see one or two efforts of raising support and donations in your newsfeed, you will see infinitely more shareable, cutesy, images that say to pray for a location or people group.
I fully believe in the power of prayer and faith but the scripture is clear that faith with out putting in work is DEAD. It's useless. If you are not willing to DO SOMETHING to give back and help out your fellow man then your little shareable graphic is useless.
And let's talk about the argument sure to arise-
" Well, by sharing these graphics we are raising awareness and even witnessing to non-believers."
I am the first one here to admit that I am guilty of doing this. I also will tell you I have some great friends who may not believe what I believe and will tell me when what I am sharing is more dangerous than good.
I have this friend... we will call him... Jean Jacket Kid. Because that's one of my fondest memories of him and he will know that it is him who I am referring to here. (Hi!) Our friendship goes back to the late 1990's and he is one of the few people I know who are willing to voice their opinion and discuss things revolving around faith with me without it turning into a nasty debate that ends with relationships being torn apart. Instead, we have mature, educational, open minded (mostly) conversations regarding our beliefs.
Recently, Jean Jacket Kid posted both on a post of mine and a post of his own saying that we should not pray for Puerto Rico because that's not doing anything. Granted, he does not believe in God or prayer and so in his eyes, he sees a massive group of people claiming to "love" and "minister" to people but all they are doing is typing a cutesy phrase on their Facebook and going back to their daily lives.
Can you blame him? I can't.
He is 100% right. That is a major issue in the Christian faith. We do the talking but we don't do the walking.
You see, how can we expect our Nation to believe anything that we preach when all they see is a group of self-entitled "Christians" who are not willing to put their money/time/skills where their mouth is?
What are we (Christians) going to REALLY DO about these national disasters waging war on our country?
We know who the author of devastation is but what are we actually doing to help those effected and to become warriors in this fight?
Are we simply sharing #prayfor______ or are we ACTUALLY praying for those things? Do we stop at the praying part or are we taking it to the next level and providing and participating in ways to effectively help those people & places? Are we watching the news report on the loss and needs of places outside (and in) our own country or are we GOING to those places to meet needs without even being asked?
Our Faith Should Be Active.
That's the only way we win souls, meet needs, and LOVE people.
ALL OF THEM.
If you want to continue to share about praying for these locations and people suffering, please do. But PLEASE - IN THE SAME POST IF POSSIBLE- share a way to tangibly give back and serve those same people. Provide a resource for someone to check out. And talk to friends and see if you can serve your local communities too to help prevent future disasters at your own front door.
If you are interested in providing help for the victims of the Las Vegas Mass Shooting you can find local blood banks, call your State Representative, or donate funding. For more info you can click HERE