I’ve spent a lot of time lately reading the news-feeds, trying to get a grasp on what is going on the world right now. I don’t know about you, but I feel like floor keeps dropping out from beneath our feet as a planet. Another pointless killing. Another ruthless mass murder. Another terrorist attack. A military coop. Maybe we are just better connected than we have been in the past so we know about these atrocities in the world faster, more in depth, during our breakfast and before we shut off the lights, but lately it feels more like rapid fire than it used to.
I feel helpless in the face of such devastation and assaults on humanity. And, in truth, I am. I’m a housewife. I have three small children and one on the way. I can’t drop in on prime ministers to offer my views on a solution to peace. I have to make breakfast and potty train my baby boy. I can’t drive down to Louisiana and stand with or in front of protesters to show how much the race issues in this country tear me up. I haven’t yet bought a ticket to France to be with the families of the victims of the terrorist attack in Nice, not because I don’t want to, but because that’s not where God is calling me yet. I have a responsibility to my husband, to my kids, to be there when they need me, whether it's to put the laundry away or tell a bedtime story. It’s my job, it's my privilege and priority.
Even though I am heartsick over our hurting world, I still scroll by to see happy pics of summer vacations and new babies being born. I still go over to friends’ houses on the weekend, play games with my boys, and take afternoon naps like a good pregnant lady. And even though I almost burst into tears a few minutes ago, after overhearing a few baristas talking flippantly about a lorry driving down people on the street, I can’t just sit on the floor and cry or jump over the counter and make them feel the grief I feel.
So what can I DO? I have a desperate need to DO. SOMETHING. But what power do I have, little me, in the midst of serving my husband, mothering my babies, loving my friends, and living my life?
I can pray.
Truly, I have never been more convinced that we Christians, should be on our knees more, spending more time in prayer.
For our world.
For our leaders.
For our neighbors.
For our enemies.
Prayer is the means by which we can change the course of humanity, more than anything else.
President Obama said in his memorial address for the five officers who were murdered in Dallas, “We all know that there is evil in this world, and that is why we need police departments.” What a responsibility for people to take on—here police officer, take care of the evil and we’ll just wait till you mess up again. This solution will just barely manage to keep the evil at bay, in our jails, in secret. This is all humanity can offer us, which inevitably keeps everyone in fear of the next attack, the next news event to dominate the cycle so we can gawk in shock from the privacy of our own homes and point a finger so we can feel a little better that we figured out who is to blame.
But I would put to you that we are aware of evil in the world and that is why we desperately need JESUS.
“Prayer is not just the activity of the godly, it is the gift to the desperate.” - Steve Fry
We all need to become intercessors. It is what Jesus would do and what he is doing right now on our behalf with the Father. We can’t be everywhere, we can’t always hold every hand or stop the atrocities with gun power or sit-ins. But we have direct access to the Spirit which is everywhere and in everything. We can plead with the Father for hope and peace, for comfort and help. I am desperate and that is why I must turn to prayer.
I am left with this amazing solution to my problem of wanting to “do something”, but I am also faced with my own faith and doubts.
Do I really believe in prayer?
Do I really believe that I have access to the creator of the universe?
Do I really believe that He is all powerful, all knowing and good?
AND that my opinions and grief matter to Him?
The answer to those questions is: “I believe but help my unbelief.”
And, to pray anyways.
If I don’t know what to pray, I pray like Jesus.
Your Kingdom come and Your Will be done. On earth as it is in heaven.
Forgive us. Help us to forgive others.
For all of this is Yours, and all the good and glorious and powerful, it all belongs to You.
I am calling out to anyone who feels this desperation. This same heart cry for peace and justice and love, and yet, the inability to live the life of a social activist. Let’s become prayer activists. Let’s get on our knees, literally, and cry out daily, hourly. Let’s teach our kids to pray, let’s pray in our communities. Let’s not just scroll on by and say, “God help us.” under our breath before we click on the latest buzz feed.
Let’s also believe that our prayers have power because of the God we serve and love. He is the only one who has this broken world in His hands, and only He can put it back together again.