With all of the devastating happening over the past few weeks in Houston, Florida, Puerto Rico, Mexico City, Las Vegas and other places, the natural inclination for many people has been to declare that we should pray for these cities/regions. Other people, though, claim that prayer is not enough and that we need to take more action. I believe this disconnect comes partially because many people don't have a good understanding of the true purpose of prayer.
Our prayers are not meant to only be verbal expressions of our current conditions. A key component of prayer should be asking for direction, strategies and solutions to resolve the myriad issues we are experiencing in our communities. We should follow Jesus' example. In John 5:19, he said "I only do what my Father shows me," which means he was a man of action, but he only engaged in actions that were specific to accomplish his mission.
When we pray without acting, we are being passive. On the other hand, when we act without praying we can easily be at worst reckless or misguided, or at a minimum be ineffective. Zeal with good intentions but without "God intentions" can get you in a lot of trouble if it's not corralled, directed, and motivated by His love and purposes.
Make no mistake, our cities and communities need as much prayer as we can get. However, we cannot afford to engage in actions that are absent of God's wisdom and guidance, because we're not helping the situations as much as we would like to think that we are. So please keep praying for our communities, businesses, schools, governments, etc. Just make sure you listen before you act.
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Amos Johnson Jr.
Brotha Online Magazine
Business as Mission
The High Calling