Sunday, May 31, 2020

Prayer always

I've been watching the looting and violence currently taking place, supposedly in response to the sad death of George Floyd. I feel anger and sadness watching these criminals engaging in theft and vandalism even in the presence of the police.

I'm reminded of an incident recounted in Mark 9:14-29 in which Jesus' disciples were unable to drive out an unclean spirit from a boy.The boy's father appealed to Jesus on behalf of his possessed son:

“Teacher, I brought You my son, who has a spirit that makes him mute. Whenever it seizes him, it throws him to the ground. He foams at the mouth, gnashes his teeth, and becomes rigid. I asked Your disciples to drive it out, but they were unable.” 

"O unbelieving generation!” Jesus replied. “How long must I remain with you? How long must I put up with you? Bring the boy to Me.”

Jesus commanded the unclean spirit to come out of the boy, and immediately he was cured. Later on His disciples asked Him why they were unable to do this themselves.

Jesus answered, “This kind cannot come out, except by prayer.”

It seems to me that these rioters ("protesters," to use the PC newscast term) are possessed, judging by the way they act and don't seem to respond to anything. As I watch and feel helpless since the police don't seem to have much luck because of the sheer numbers of the rioters, I wonder what can be done? 

The first and foremost thing that can be done, that should be done with any difficult situation, is to pray. God is always in control. Maybe it doesn't seem that way, but we are too small to know the mind of God and His purposes and plans. We can still pray, however. 

I know there are non-believers who scoff at prayer, considering it as useless talk that accomplishes nothing - as in, all talk and no action. But that is not the case. Prayer should precede action; we need to ask the Lord for guidance and wisdom in a situation, to enable us to discern the right course of action and then enable us with the courage and resources to follow through. Action without prayer is what ultimately accomplishes nothing.

Maybe there's nothing we can really do; many things are beyond our control, but nevertheless we need to keep praying because nothing is beyond God's control; He hears us. If He does call us to action then we pray His Spirit will lead us so we may serve by doing His will, that we will be the light of Christ through it all.

Prayer works. Jesus said it - O unbelieving generation! in response to unsuccessful attempts to help the boy who was out of control. Take heed of His words: This kind cannot come out, except by prayer.

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