Sunday, January 4, 2015

The Relationship Between Prayer and Action

"if My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land." - 2 Chronicles 7:14

And He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned.
Mark 16:15-16

"Ask of Me, and I will give You
The nations for Your inheritance,
And the ends of the earth for Your possession."

Psalm 2:8

If a brother or sister is naked and destitute of daily food, 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?
James 2:15-16

Yesterday I wrote a post entitled A New Way of Looking At New Years. Feel free to follow the link if you missed but basically I challenged my readers to think outside of yourself when looking at this new year. We often make resolutions when approaching a new year but those resolutions tend to focus on our selves. I challenged readers to look beyond themselves and to pray for change in their nation. One of my readers responded to my post and inspired this follow up post. 

As Christians it is important that we start with prayer when looking to move forward and bring change into our nation and community. This allows us to reach beyond the natural and access the supernatural. Prayer brings us closer to God allowing us to walk in his guidance and power as we move out to act. However it is important that we don't stop with prayer. 

I recently had the opportunity to listen to a sermon by Evangelist Reinhard Bonnke. You can listen to the same sermon here. In that sermon he is talking to the Hillsong conference and he makes the example that if every Christian in all of Australia prayed 365 days a year 24 hours a day Australia would not be changed until someone steps out and preaches the Gospel. He talks about how praying without preaching is like walking on one leg but God has given us two legs. 

I believe that this is a biblical principle as we can see in the verses above. On one hand God commands us to pray and seek his face (2 Chronicles 7:14) but on the other hand he tells us to go out and preach the Gospel (Mark 16:15). On one hand he tells us to ask for the nations but on the other hand he tells us that it is no go to simply speak to the hungry unless we also give them food and clothing (James 2:15-16). 

Ultimately what we are coming to is James 2:20b " without works is dead.

Let us start 2015 as I challenged you yesterday, on our knees in prayer. However let us not end the year that way. Determine what it is that God has put on your heart to see changed in your community then find yourself seeking His face, seeking Him to show up in your community, praying for that change to be made. But the next step is to listen and hear from heaven. Let God guide you into how you are going to address that need and get out and do something!

If you feel that there are too many homeless and hungry people in your community praying for them is great and is important but at some point you will have to get out and give some food, provide some clothing, and maybe help to train them in finding jobs. Even if you just volunteer at your local homeless shelter at least you are doing something. 

If you feel that people need to be more loving towards each other, again it is great to pray for God to touch the hearts of people in that direction, but ultimately you are going to have to go and be loving towards others around you. 

In other words, while you are praying, and after you have prayed, go out and: 

"Be the change that you wish to see in the world." - Mahatma Ghandi

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