I am right and you are wrong! It’s my way or the highway!… This Us vs.Them mentality has to be overcome! It really does not matter which side you are on, the minute you fall into this type of mentality you begin a steady descent into disunity. We are all in this together. This is our country! We have all been placed here for a reason. Your role, your mindset, your place will differ from someone else. You will see things differently. You will act differently. You are not a robot. We should be celebrating our differences because that is what makes us who we are.
Unrighteousness and injustice is all around us. It has been here since before we were born and it will be here until the end of time. The question that people are asking right now is: “how do I respond to this problem?” The problem is always the easiest to see and recognize, even though all do not. Some are blinded even while others stare it squarely in the face. Some choose to ignore or overlook even what they see because they do not want to recognize what exists in their own hearts. Others see the problem every day and want to take action to end the injustice and right the wrong. The question is: “What action can I take to right the wrong? What can I do to bring justice where there is none? Where do I go from here?”
Let me tell you a story. I share this first because I know that many, even those with the right heart, will discount everything else I will say. Some may even deny the event that took place, but I pray that something awakens within you that will not be silent.
Sunday night (May 31) things started heating up in Fort Worth. By all accounts a peaceful protest became dangerous and the police acted to end the situation. In an effort to resolve the situation, or quiet the opposition, a curfew of 8 pm was set. Monday evening (June 1) protesters gathered near the courthouse about 7 pm many of whom were still there even after police informed them of the curfew. A stand off took place until after 9 pm. My wife and I were discussing the situation, as most people probably were in their homes or even experiencing it on the streets. I felt led that we needed to do more than just talk about what was happening. I began to pray for peace to come. I prayed for righteousness, reconciliation, and healing. We prayed for a little while, nothing big or grandiose. We just prayed. We finished praying about 9:45. About half an hour later, we looked at the news of what was happening and saw that amidst a tense standoff situation, about 9:30 the situation broke as one officer knelt to pray in the middle of the two lines of separation, between the police and protesters. I want to note that the protesters came with milk on ice prepared to be assaulted with tear gas. Probably, neither side was hopeful to be able to resolve what had taken place the night before. But action had been taken, I had prayed.
I am not foolish enough to think that I was the only one praying for the situation in Fort Worth. I know that there were hundreds if not thousands of people who were praying at that moment. What I want to emphasize is that all those who prayed were taking action. Although we will not admit it, few people, even in the church, would look at prayer as taking real action. Even in the church, we agree that prayer is important, but once you’re done praying, go and actually do something. I want to re-emphasize that prayer is doing something! Just because you cannot see an immediate result or touch what you have just done, it does not take away from the importance of the action of praying.
Some will be offended at what I am about to say, but we do not really believe that prayer is the most powerful action that we can take. If we really believed in the power of prayer, prayer meetings would be packed beyond capacity. We would have to take extra time during our church, family, sports or other gatherings to pray beyond just blessing our food. Before you get too offended, here is something to think about, how much time did you actually spend praying today? Would your life look any different if all the prayers you prayed today had been answered?
Biblically, prayer mixed with fasting and repentance was the most powerful thing that could be done by any individual or people. Prayer has the power to change hearts, minds, kings, and kingdoms. Every major hero in the Bible mixed prayer, fasting, and repentance to touch the heart of God. That is what I want to do.
My encouragement for you today is to take real action and pray! Pray, fast, repent! These are actions every single one of us can take right now. When you see the news that tries to cause fear to rise up, stop and pray for peace. When you see Facebook posts about protests and riots, pray for healing and unity of this nation. When The President, your governor, police chief, or other officials do or say something you disagree with, pray for wisdom, compassion, and mercy! When you find yourself conversing about all the chaos going on around you, no matter what side you find yourself on, stop and pray.
Prayer and fasting is the only thing that can change my heart of stone and make me see my faults and shortcomings. As these are revealed, I must repent that healing and restoration may come. When I pray like this, I become transformed more and more into the image of Christ. I will gain His heart and become more full of mercy and compassion. When I become like Him, I will take more action as He speaks and reveals to me how I can serve Him and others with the right heart and mind. However, everything begins with the action of humbling myself and coming to The Only Truly Righteous, Just One and asking Him to do the work. He is the only One who can change me, and He is the only One who can change nations. Come to Jesus and take action by taking His hand and walking with Him. This is the first step toward true unity and reconciliation in every area.
Jeremiah, Man on Fire!!!