"Are we complacent in our prayers? Afraid to be bold because we fear God won't answer them? Afraid that God might require more or something different from us?"
As Christians, we are taught, and many of us believe and have evidence, that "prayer changes things." For the most part, we ask, we believe, we surrender, and situations change. Most of us can attest to “prayer working” for something we are directly involved with like our problems at work or a family member's illness. But what do you think about something as global and far-reaching as hunger? Can our prayers solve that?
Well, that’s what the Pope of the Catholic church and organizers of this Prayer Wave event think, and they are calling to others to sign a petition, and join in daily prayer specifically for ending hunger. I've signed it (I'm not Catholic, but I believe in this effort) and I am excited to focus my prayer time on ending hunger; but I have to admit, there are a few things that this has me thinking about:
1. Why am I/are we just now using prayer as a "weapon" to combat such devastation?
(I'm sure others have been praying to end hunger since the beginning of time, so I guess I'm really wondering why I haven't been devoting my time to specifically pray about hunger or child trafficking, or violence -- these things that break my heart.)
2. What if, even on the local level, we began to think all of what we can do through prayer and join our spirits, across denominations in prayer time? (Countless churches worship on Sundays. Though they have their prayer at different times, what if those praying -- aloud and silently -- become consciously aware that they are joining with others, including those not even physically there, in prayer. Think about how powerful that would be!)
3. Has prayer, in the mind of many believers, lost its power?
(Are we complacent in our prayers? Afraid to be bold because we fear God won't answer them? Afraid that God might require more or something different from us? Is praying something we do just because it's what we've been taught or do we truly believe in its power?)
This article, especially in light of the Advent season and the passing of one of the most admired men for his faith and courage of love, Nelson Mandela, has got me thinking. The act of love is what "church" is, right? We (the church) are people of faith and action. Believing, going and doing what God has commanded. That won't be comfortable or easy in the ways we like to think about it, but with prayer, all things are possible.
So, do you believe ending hunger in our lifetime is possible? Do you believe it begins with prayer? Will you join with others (even if you don't believe in their polity) to pray to end hunger? Will you pray for God to help your unbelief?