There’s an old adage that says “silence is golden,” which simply put means some things are better left unsaid. Well, in the days of late and what has transpired over the last year in politics and in general, I beg to differ.
You see, too many of us, especially in the church, have taken the stance, silence is golden, choosing instead to opt out. Really to chicken out, if you ask me. They have taken a this is not my fight stance, choosing instead to hide behind, “prayer.” They say things like, “this is the will of God, I’m just going to pray about it.” Hello, if it’s the will of God, why do you need to pray about it? First of all.
And let me just get this straight from the onset. I have no problems with prayer. I have no problems talking and communicating to God, my Father. I myself, and I only make mention of this for those who don’t know me personally, commune with God, often, daily, if not always. The Bible says, “Men ought to always pray, without ceasing.” And while I certainly make the effort, in my human frailty, I am not afraid to admit, I do fall short.
But my problem comes when people hide behind the prayer and use it as an excuse to do nothing else. You see, the Bible says in James 2, faith without works is dead. So, if we pray, I believe, God speaks. And it doesn’t end there. God gives directions, or instructions when He speaks. He gives us a Word for whatever it is that we are praying about and it should spring us into action. How else will things get done on the earth if we do not pray and act upon what God tells us to do? We certainly cannot right wrongs or undo injustices, simply by praying. It takes far more than that. Jesus said in Matthew 11:12, “From the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven has suffered violence, and the violent take it by force.” By force. Not simply by prayer. Force requires action.
Jesus went to the cross to die. He suffered, bled and died for the sins of the world. If prayer was all it took to save the world, He could have just prayed. And in fact He did. He prayed, BUT, He also went to the cross. Jesus is our example. We need to pray and DO.
Going back to James 2, What good is praying for someone when they are hungry and then sending them away? We can pray for somebody when they are hungry, but we also need to give them something to eat. They cannot eat a prayer. That will not feed them. God does not want us to be so spiritually minded that we are of no earthly good. And that is just how many of us have become.
Yes, there’s a time to pray. Always a time to pray. But never a time to pray and do absolutely nothing. Even when Jesus was praying in the Garden of Gethsemane, He asked His disciples to watch and pray. Even watching is an action word. Isaiah 40:31 says, “but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.” Often misquoted, misread, misunderstood, to mean that we are just supposed to wait after we pray for something and then God will renew our strength. No. Our strength will be renewed as we wait on the Lord. As we serve the Lord. When you wait, you must think of it as serve. As a waiter, serves. You wait on the Lord. You are serving the Lord. You are yet doing something in service to the Lord.
Praying and waiting. We are never just STILL. Sitting idly by waiting for God to move. We must always play a part in our deliverance or the deliverance of someone else, as we are not in this thing or on this earth, alone or better yet, we are not “I”-lands. This is exactly the reason why God has not moved in some of our situations, because you haven’t. You are not serving. You are simply praying.
I keep getting this picture in my spirit. Someone crying in the street. Yelling, screaming, just lying in the street. And what are the saints of God doing? They’re “praying.” And they are saying it. ‘I’m praying for you.’ Not one has gone over to help. Not one has gone to actually lift the person out of the street or to wipe the tears from their eyes. No, they’d much rather pray about it and say so. This is how “religious” some have become. And it’s sad.
I believe this wholeheartedly. If some of us were praying as much as we say we are praying, this world would not be in the state that it is. It really has become just something else the church has added to its terminology. Something to say that sounds good, with no action behind it whatsoever. In some cases. I thank God for those that I know that are true prayer warriors that have some action behind their prayers, because it takes both.
God is looking for you and I do something. We ARE His hands and feet! God wants us to PRAY AND FAST. PRAY AND SEEK. PRAY AND ACT. PRAY AND BELIEVE, EVEN. Isn’t that what we do when we GO and fill out job applications or to get a mortgage or something? We pray and then MOVE. We don’t sit still and wait for the job or whatever we need to fall in our laps simply because we prayed!
Yes. We must pray. But we must act as well. It’s a part of what we believe as we pray. We can’t just sit on our hands and expect God to do everything. And we can’t just stay silent about things that are happening in our midst. And I’m talking to those that are not praying, either. It is time out for that.
It is time out for the silence. It’s time out for the excuses. It is time out for the I have to pray about it. It’s time to be about it. This time your silence may not be so golden. This time, your silence could be dangerous.
God is real. And His deliverance is seen in your action.
A servant of the Lord,
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