On what should’ve been a quiet, peaceful Sunday morning, our nation was rattled by the tragic news of a shooting at a church in Sutherland Springs, Texas. Over two dozen are dead and many have been injured.
In the face of such tragedy, many of us rally together in prayer and peaceful vigils. However, some people on social media are saying that prayers are useless. They don’t do anything to help, and therefore, a waste of time.
As a Christian who believes deeply in the power of prayer, these statements really made me pause to think. If you’re on the fence about prayer, or are just worn down by all of the tragedies in our nation, then this post is for you.
A New Perspective
There are things in this world we just don’t understand. We live in a world where bad things happen and injustice seems to be the norm.
So where’s God in all of this? Why isn’t He answering our prayers?
“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33 NIV)
You see, Jesus never promised His followers an easy life with no problems or disasters. On the contrary, there is a target on every Christian’s back solely based on their devotion to God.
Our perspective on life is wrong. We are only human beings restricted by the confines of time and space. God sees the whole picture–from beginning to end–and He has promised us a victorious ending (Revelation 21).
Sin is the root cause of the evil in this world, and it is the reason people are filled with anger, hatred, and violence. This is more than just a political or cultural issue–it’s a spiritual one.
The only cure for sin is Jesus, and our pursuit should be the freedom of His saving grace.
Prayer in Action
People want action in times of crisis. We want a sense of control in turbulent times. However, one must not discount the power and motivation of prayer. Prayer is an action of love and faith.
If we pray for those in need, we are uniting with them both mentally and spiritually. We are sacrificing time and energy to focus our hearts on our neighbors.
But the Bible tells us not to stop at prayer. Rather, we should carry our faith into loving deeds in the physical realm as well.
You see that his faith and his actions were working together, and his faith was made complete by what he did. (James 2:22 NIV)
When we pray for others, we take the center of our hearts off of ourselves. This acts as a catalyst for real change in both our lives and the lives of those around us.
I know of Christians who send their prayers on social media, but many of these saints also give money and sacrifice time to help disaster relief organizations.
When we pray, God transforms our hearts into vessels of compassion and action.
A Spiritual Battle
For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. (Ephesians 6:12 NIV)
The visible world around us if often distracting and terrifying. However, it is only temporary. Our true battle isn’t with social or political issues (although they shouldn’t be ignored).
There is a spiritual war being waged against God’s sons and daughters right now. The devil knows that Jesus has won, and that He is coming to reign on earth soon (Matthew 24). This is causing the enemy to attack God’s children like never before, in the hopes of preventing one more soul from being saved.
Remember, we don’t have the whole perspective. We can’t see into eternity or into the battles that are taking place in the heavenly realms. I don’t have all the answers for life’s tragedies, but I do know this:
God sees our struggles and He hears our prayers. Jesus loves us, and can turn any situation–no matter how tragic–into a message of redemption and salvation.
Don’t stop praying, lovely one. It could be the very action that saves someone’s soul.
Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective. (James 5:16 NIV)
Thanks for reading! Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below 🙂
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