The summer of 2016 will be known as a time of extraordinary violence and unrest in the United States and throughout the world. The sense of unease and tension in the U.S is high, with fear and anger ruling the day for many people. Like so many people across this land, I have been praying for the people personally affected by the events of this summer, and for our nation, that is reeling from the horrific events and evil in our midst.
I have also been asking God to reveal how He wants those of us who desire to worship Him with our lives to respond to the events around us.
As I reflected on this, I kept thinking about something my Dad once told me. You see, about two weeks before he passed away, Dad called the entire family together to give each of us personal words of blessing, encouragement, and fatherly advice. Among some powerful and profound words he spoke to me, Dad also asked us to do one specific thing:
Be a prayer.
He told us, “Don’t just pray—be a prayer in the lives of the people God puts in your life.”
My father was a man of prayer, who then allowed God’s answers to rule his heart, transform his mind, oversee his motives, and direct his responses and action.
To be clear, our prayers are heard when we voice them to God according to His good will and plan. Equally true, however, is that our prayers are exponentially activated when we live and display God’s grace and love, even in the face of evil.
“Being a prayer” is the hallmark of an authentic worshiper of our Almighty God.
My fellow Christ followers, I humbly ask you to consider how we can overcome evil with good by simply “being a prayer” in our world.
Someone once said, “It’s better to light a single candle than to curse the darkness.” Jesus put it this way: He said we are “lights on a hill” intended to shine as God’s beacons of hope in the darkness of life (See Matthew 5). I sometimes wonder if too many Christ-followers are forgetting the light that is within us—God’s presence in the person of the Holy Spirit— instead choosing to spew out dark, angry words, just like the rest of the world.
Dark words will not cure the darkness: only the Light of the World, Jesus Christ, can do this.
Jesus also said that we, His disciples, are the salt of the earth. Salt is a kind of “influencer” in food, making even bitter things easier to swallow. Imagine what our country and world could look like if Christ-followers chose to be God’s “salt-like” influencers, seasoning our culture and world with the sweetness of God’s presence and love.
At times we are called to present Truth to people. But the Truth God intends for us to present is the Truth of the Gospel, the hope of sinners, Jesus Christ. This can only be accomplished when we speak and act only in the love God has lavished upon us, people lost in sin who were saved by His grace.
Throughout this summer I’ve been posting positive, inspirational words on the Internet. It’s my little way of displaying the candle of the hope I have in Jesus Christ, who died so that no one should perish.
God knows there’s plenty enough anger and rage to go around.
So, my friends, I am asking you to present the best of what God has given to you in your interactions with people: in person, on social media, and in our civic life. Let’s “season” our world by sharing uplifting words, videos, songs, and posts that give people hope and point them to Jesus Christ.
Let’s not allow anger and fear to overcome us, but allow the good that God has placed in us to overcome the evil that is in the world.
It’s time to be a prayer!
My new book “The Isaiah Encounter is now available at Barnes and Noble! Here is the link to finding it online:
I appreciate your support in reading this blog and ask for your help in getting the word out about this book!
God bless you!