It’s praying time! Pray until something happens
by The Press and Standard | November 4, 2018 5:00 am
Last Updated: October 31, 2018 at 1:07 pm
Eleven parishioners murdered and six injured in Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh, Pa. Pipe bombs sent to former President and Mrs. Obama and former President and Mrs. Clinton, among other political figures. Two shoppers murdered at a Kroger Grocery Store in Kentucky. Two police officers’ lives taken and five other officers injured in Florence in an ambush. And this list of tragedies sorrowfully goes on.
If this is not praying time, I don’t know what else it is!
These evil acts have been perpetrated out of pure hatred in a nation where Emma Lazarus’s words from “The New Colossus” silently echo at the base of Miss Liberty: “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, the wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me. I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”
We have to unify as a nation, pray earnestly for love, peace, harmony, and justice, and be more tolerant of others who do not look and act the way each of us does. The Lord tells us in James 5:16 (KJV), “Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.” The New Living Translation of this same verse of Scripture reads: “Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results.”
Therefore, when we pray, the words must not be empty and meaningless. They must be words of power, and the one who is praying must be righteous; in other words, he must be a child of God. Further, Ephesians 6:18 (KJV) says this about prayer: “Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints.”
Therefore, we must not be selective in our prayers for whom we pray. The Word says, “…for all saints.”
Given all these senseless atrocities, we cannot sit on our seats of do-nothing and utter, “There’s not a thing I can do!” Yes, there is something you can do — P.U.S.H. — Pray Until Something Happens.” Pray that political leaders, extremists and others, stop all of this hateful, vitriolic rhetoric. Small-minded people who are filled with so much evil are feeding off this rhetoric, so it has got to stop. Political leaders, from the top down, need to stop spewing these awful words, and take the lead in unifying this great nation.
None of them are exempt! They have a responsibility because when they took the oath of office. There is a phrase in the oath, which is not required by law that states, “So help me God.”
Leaders, depending on your position of leadership, there are people who are going to be enticed by the way in which you lead, so they will feel that whatever you say or do is right; therefore, they will say or do inexcusable things, taking your hateful, derogatory words to the extreme. Hateful words breed anger and violence; however, peaceful words breed peace and love. People who are already possessed with evil will feed on the negativity that they hear and will sometimes use that for the heinous, inexcusable tragedies that they perpetrate. Proverbs 15:1(ESV) confirms this: “A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.”
The church is considered a haven of peace, worship, and love. However, just within the last three years, it has been the victim of some heartbreaking tragedies symbolic of chaos, evil and pure hate: Emmanuel A.M.E. Church in Charleston lost eight parishioners and their pastor, the Rev. (Senator) Clementa Pinckney, in a Bible study; 26 congregants were killed, including the pastor’s 14-year-old daughter, and 20 were injured at First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs, Texas, at a Sunday service. And on last Saturday in a morning worship service at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh, Pa., 11 members were killed, and six were injured. Among those who lost their lives at the synagogue was a 97-year-old woman who was a Holocaust survivor.
Tragedies such as these are leaving many to fear for their lives in worship service or just not attend, and that is not what God intended. In II Timothy 1:7 (KJV) it states, “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.”
Church, it is praying time! One thing that is clearly obvious is that we are living in the last and evil days. According to II Timothy 3:1-9 (ESV), “But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty. For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people. For among them are those who creep into households and capture weak women, burdened with sins and led astray by various passions, always learning and never able to arrive at a knowledge of the truth. Just as Jannes and Jambres opposed Moses, so these men also oppose the truth, men corrupted in mind and disqualified regarding the faith. But they will not get very far, for their folly will be plain to all, as was that of those two men.”
It’s praying time, my sisters and brothers in Christ! Let us keep the family members of the victims, survivors, communities, first responders, law enforcement, community leaders and religious leaders involved in these tragedies in our thoughts and prayers. Those who are the perpetrators need prayer as well, because something has to be mentally wrong with them to be filled with such hate, carrying out such cruel acts. Further, their families need prayer.
Consequently, we all stand in the need of prayer.
In closing, I ask Jesus to be a fence of protection around our nation, especially as we approach the midterm elections on Nov. 6.
Have a wonderfully blessed week, and never leave home without Him!
(Anna Bright is a minister and educator in Walterboro. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org)