It is ironic that this chapter blog falls on a week when our world is devastated and confused about the horrific events that have unfolded in Orlando. Everywhere you look on the news, TV, or social media, there are mentions and hashtags saying something along the lines of, “pray for Orlando” and people have gathered all over the country to pray for those affected by the tragedy. However, the other day I saw a post that made me stop and think - see above.
*the comment preceding this post was “#prayerisnotenough #actionforOrlando
Among the many messages conveyed by this post, two are most prominent.
Praying for people (intercession) cannot and should not ever be used as an excuse to not be the physical hands & feet of God’s heart on earth. Intercession should always lead to action, not to apathy.
For many on earth, prayer is seen as useless and an ineffective agent of change. The question we should be asking ourselves as Christians is, deep down, do I believe that prayer is ineffective too? What we believe about God’s heart and response to intercession directly affects when/how/why we pray.
I believe that if I called Sorge up today to ask him about prayer at such a time as this, he would say a few things. First, he would be unoffended by the post above. He would understand where the author is coming from, but this is what he would want to convey in response…
Over and over again in the Bible & in the lives of modern Christians, we see that God responds to the desperate prayers of His people. Elijah prayed for rain, God heard and moved. Moses reminded God of His promises to Israel - God heard & held back His wrath. I have begged God to restore relationships and to give hopeless people joy - God heard and moved. God’s plans will always come to pass either way, but He gives us the opportunity to petition on the behalf of humanity, and watch the miracle come to pass. As Sorge says, “prayer accelerates God’s purposes in the earth”.
Second, Bob would remind us that it is a victory that the church is even responding to this event with prayer, and he hopes that we would empathize with the world’s pain even more! Sorge believes that “prayer is the immunity system of the body of Christ”, and just like the physical immune system, we cannot know that something is wrong unless we feel pain. Thus is the power of intercession; it is a cycle of feeling pain for others, begging God to pour out His love on their behalf, but then also finding that through prayer, our hearts are more deeply connected to that group of people than before. We feel, we fight, we love what we fought for more deeply, we become more sensitive to the world’s pain, we return to God on their behalf with more accurate knowledge of what they need. It is beautiful really, how intercession works.
I encourage you to pray for Orlando, but to consider every day who you are praying to and what He is capable of doing in response! Don’t let the opportunity to fight on behalf of a hurting world pass you by. God will move in response to you, whether you see it or not.
Bailey Meyne, DL