Prayer and action

Some days I feel utterly helpless.

I look at the pain and sorrow in this world, and I want to HELP. I want to stand up, take up arms, and FIGHT.

My little corner of the world has gotten so political, and it hurts my heart. Why can’t we look at things through the lens of what is kind, good, and right? I’m not even talking religious, because too many people (and I’m not just talking politicians) use religion for their own personal gain.

Let me be clear here before I move on: My Christianity is a relationship. My Christianity is not a list of dos and don’ts that I think that by following, I’ll receive an eternal reward. My Christianity is a relationship with Christ that brings me joy and peace. Christ has offered me eternity in heaven, and I have accepted that free gift that I am unworthy to take. It is a lifelong study, reading His word, reading commentaries, having hearty discussions with friends. It involves prayer and contemplation and application. It involves love.

Prayer changes hearts and minds. I firmly believe that. I have personally experienced that over the years. When I looked back at my June prayer guide and saw all the answered prayers God gave me, I was overly grateful. I had so many things to be thankful for, so many prayers that had been physically answered. Prayer has changed me and continues to change me. I pray for my family, for my friends, for various world issues that clutch my heart.

And sometimes – that is all I can do.

I cannot heal sick babies, nor can I change the minds of those heading down destructive paths. I cannot end war, and I cannot turn off social media, though some days I so want to do so.

But I can bring food to people. I can offer up my home as a haven. I can send gifts and aid to those in war-torn areas. I can choose what I post online.

I can choose what my family does and how my family reacts to heartbreaking situations. I pray – may we always be in continual prayer – but most of the time, God offers us opportunities to act as well.

I can raise up little girls who gracefully question everything, who want to ask hard questions because they want to learn – not because they want to buck the system, but because – why do we even have a system? Why do we follow this tradition? Who is it hurting and who is it helping? What can we do to be world changers?

I often fear that we are too cozy in our little place, with a nice house, cars with A/C, with Netflix on demand, with too much food in our fridge. We think we deserve these things because we worked hard and because we earned them – but we didn’t. Lots of people work harder and have much less.

For those of us who have been blessed with much, we can do much. We can visit those who are sick and in prison. We can send gifts to children separated from their parents. We can volunteer. We can slowly rearrange our lives so we don’t focus so much on us but on others – and by doing so, we can raise up a generation that will not be focused on how much money is in their bank accounts, but how many people they serve daily.

It’s hard – I know it’s hard. I am tired at the end of the day, when the kids go to bed. I want them to have an epic childhood, full of museums and zoos and water parks and snow cones. But it’s more important for them to understand the meaning of servanthood and kindness. And that’s something I need to remember.

After all, if I want to see the world change, I have to start with my own little corner.


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