Prayer has gotten a bad reputation.
In our broader culture, I’ll pray for you has sadly become a hollow platitude. “Thoughts and prayers” has become a way of saying, “We feel kinda bad, but we probably aren’t going to do anything about it.”
We’ve allowed the perception that prayer is about inaction.
Every day on the FREEDOM TOUR begins with “Helmets Up.” It’s a time of prayer linked directly to what we’re doing.
- We pray for the kids and staff at the HOME OF HOPE. We ask Jesus to hold them in His hand, AND we ask for wisdom as we encounter people along the ride so we can explain and advocate for their freedom.
- We pray for strength and perseverance. We ask Jesus to sustain us as we ride, AND we lean on weeks of preparation and training.
- We pray for safety. We ask God’s protection, AND we remind ourselves to ride safely, to be courteous and respectful, to care for each other and for those we encounter.
Our prayers aren’t a substitute for action. Prayer isn’t asking God to take care of a problem so I’m off the hook. Prayer is a first step, a request for guidance. Prayer acknowledges that we can’t do it by ourselves, that without Jesus our efforts will be disjointed, reactionary, and likely to cause as many problems as they solve.
We don’t pray to avoid the tough decisions and hard work, but that we’ll be able to work joyfully and that our endeavors will be better focused and aligned with Kingdom purposes. We pray that God will use and multiply our efforts.
We pray for our kids, and we believe Jesus cares for them in ways we don’t understand. Our prayers don’t relieve us of the responsibility to do whatever we can to support them.
We should never discount the power of prayer. We ought to pray for and about the issues and concerns of our friends, our communities, and our broken world.
And then, we need to do something because love is an action verb.