It is so easy to look at this world and complain at the state we see it in. Crime, poverty, hatred, envy, and the like, are abundant in this society. We see all that is going on and we look to assign blame. We blame our leaders, our community, our neighbor, our churches, and anyone we can find to stick a finger at. But where does that get us? It certainly does not solve the problem. You may feel better for a moment as you get the frustration off your chest, but the world is still as it was; flawed.
As Christians, prayer should be a big part of our lives. If we choose to find blame in others and not take it to the Lord, then what has been done about it? A healthy prayer life involves taking all our problems, all our concerns, all the things that make our hearts hurt to the cross. Only He can provide the changes needed to turn a situation around. It is our job to pray; it is His promise to act. While we may not see immediate results, know that His hand will be at work. Often behind the scenes. We may also not like the answers given, or the lack of answers given, but we need to trust that His will is being accomplished.
When it comes to the country
Right now, there is much divisiveness amongst our leadership. They go around mudslinging and passing the buck without really doing anything to make changes. We should not join the fracas; we need to be on our knees in prayer. Our leaders need guidance. They need our support. The Bible teaches us that not one authority is in power that He has not allowed. The people in office right now are the ones God has appointed to be there. It can be a mind-boggling concept since many are anti-God in many of their positions, but always remember that God is in control.
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So, our privilege is to lift them in prayer. Pray that God will direct their decision making. Pray for them personally to experience His hand. Most of all pray for acceptance of what the Lord allows to happen.
Our favorite candidate may not get elected, and a God-centered man may be overlooked for office. Don’t blame voters or a system you think is corrupt. Pray for the one who is elected. Continue to pray even when it seems like there is no hope. Because there is always hope in the Lord.
When it comes to your family
We all have those family members or friends who seem like a lost cause. Those who curse like a sailor, drink like a drunkard, or live like there will be no tomorrow. We feel that there is no way God can get hold of them. We blame their upbringing, circumstances handed to them, and poor choices made. So, we resign ourselves to letting them remain in their lost state. Praying for them is the last thing on our mind.
When our hearts hurt for our lost family and friends, we need to be in sincere prayer for them. Pray that God will move in their life. Pray for Godly examples to cross their path. Most of all seek God in what you can do to be an influence on them. Don’t leave it to someone else. The very example of Christ that may reach through to them is the example you present. Never point out faults or confront them in an accusatory fashion. This will only make things worse, and possibly hurt the chances of you making a difference in them. It could also further turn their hearts away from God, in that they see an example of Christ with a finger in their face. Instead, lift them up in prayer. Then live your life in a spirit of love toward them.
When it comes to you
We are probably the most difficult person to change. Why? Because we are short-sighted. We can see the flaws in others, yet we cannot (or better yet refuse) to see the inadequacies that are within ourselves. When we do see them, we sometimes rationalize them. We say it is the way we are; we blame our parents, we blame society, we blame others for holding us back, we blame everyone but the one in the mirror.
Then there are those faults we do not see. The ones that get under the skin of those around us, but no one will say anything about.
This is where praying for ourselves is beneficial. Not prayers of success or to change others opinion of us. Real and honest prayer rooted in humility. Ask God to help you in the areas where you struggle. Pray he will show you how to deal with that one fault that keeps creeping up on you. Then pray for the shortcomings you cannot see. Pray that those will be revealed to you and how to overcome them.
God hears prayer. God answers prayer. There is no small prayer he doesn’t care about. There is no prayer that He is not big enough for. We just need to be obedient and pray. Then trust in His promise that we are heard and that an answer is on the way.
Our leaders, our friends, and family, our pastors, those who wait on us at the restaurant, the checker at the grocery store, the man on the corner holding a sign, the business professional at your bank, all are worthy of prayer. There is no one too far gone. There is none who is so safe that they are not in need. Remember, there is no one to blame. We live in a fallen world; it is the result of sin. The only way to battle and overcome sin is through the power of God. And that power is unleashed when His people pray.