The transformative power of the Holy Spirit will CHANGE the world - we won't. If we genuinely commit to loving our neighbor through serving all - especially the least of these - then change will come. BUT, the change that will most certainly come will not be like we envision it. It will be sustainable - not temporary, as it conceived and birthed in Jesus Christ. Unlike the world's thirst for the latest drama, it is not a fashionable cause so many choose to jump on the bandwagon and support for a season. We will be witnesses to true change when it is unequivocally rooted in God's will and purposes for this world - not our own. When this happens we will also come to realize that the true spiritual stamina and endurance to love comes from the Spirit - the source of all transformation.
To suggest that we ourselves change the world is NOT rooted in a careful reflection of the Gospels (or of the entire Bible). It is self-centered in character, western in its strategy, politically motivated and a market-based approach to understanding the Church & Christian ministry altogether. So much so that prayer becomes the most commonly discarded ministry as it suggests idleness or limited opportunities for social action. Malnourished and erroneous as these perspectives may be, they truly inspire all sorts of advocates suggesting "prayer" is a personal affair. Too much ado about prayer may be seen as living out of touch, or at odds with, the assumed militancy the Church should be characterized as being in possessing of and demonstrating "leadership" in the areas of justice, politics, economics and the environment.
We must face up to the reality that the Church MUST be a praying community prior to any action and that prayer must be the foundational ministry of the Body of Christ. The Church MUST be constantly dying to self seeking to have its collective will crushed and in its place, filled with a heartfelt passion for its will to be perfectly aligned with God's. The only way we can ever hope to truly live our call as sons and daughters of the Kingdom of God is if we are willing to listen to God's direction, to receive God's purposes as our very own and refuse any and all temptations to taking any action predicated on what we "believe" the Church should be doing instead of what God "expects" the Church to be.
We MUST seek to divest ourselves of intentions to make of our churches extensions of political parties and of their respective platforms and/or programs. We represent the Kingdom of God. ALL political parties - be they right, center or left, must bow down in contrite obedience before the LORD and seek His will & purposes.
We MUST refuse to make of prayer a passive activity to remove "guilt" as we pray to get it over with before we really "get-down-to-business" at the next church meeting.
We MUST repent for having introduced our desires veiled as "discernment", "confirmations" and/or "guidance" acquired from God through prayer.
We MUST stop believing that there are some people with a "gift" of prayer making their petitions far more effective and successfully sent toward God than others. According to Scripture, everyone can pray and ALL who love the LORD God and seek His will & righteousness are effective prayer partners.
Jesus has called each and everyone of us to the ministry of intercession. We have our prayers commingled with our Saviour's intercessions before our Father - always! How is it that we relegate - shamefully relegate - the mystery of prayer to the fringes of Christian living, ministry and proclamation. Our Lord was in constant prayer. How can we not be?
I urged each of you to reflect on the place prayer holds in your life. How many excuses do you have for not praying? How are we able to fill our days with senseless activities and in superficial conversations while remaining incapable of directing our slightest attentions to the One who gave everything so that we might live?
It is my prayer, that the entries to come will invite reflection, controversy and a deeper conversation about prayer with yourself, with others and above all else - with the Lord Himself. Through these posts, I pray that you'll be engaged in the activity whose purpose exists above every other - to seek intimacy with God and to reveal our love for Him in service to our neighbor for the sake of His glory.