Too Pressurized and Polarized to Pray?

December 1, 2020

God, you’re such a safe and powerful place to find refuge! You’re a proven help in time of trouble—more than enough and always available whenever I need you. So we will never fear even if every structure of support were to crumble away. We will not fear even when the earth quakes and shakes…. The mighty Lord of Angel Armies is on our side. The God of Jacob fights for us! Pause in his presence…. Everyone look! Come and see the breathtaking wonders of our God. For he brings both ruin and revival…. Surrender your anxiety! Be silent and stop your striving and you will see that I am God. Psalm 46 TPT  

Jesus: “Keep praying and never stop or lose hope and never grow discouraged.” Luke 18:1

We are living in a time where no doubt we all feel somewhat hopeless and helpless. We feel like there ought to be something we could say or do that would make a difference in the pressurized and polarized times in which we live. But when we try to step out and say something, it mostly makes things worse and adds to the division. We easily get into hurtful debates that help no one. The Bible tells us only a fool argues with a fool. What can we do?  

Kathi Branzell, chairman of the National Day of Prayer, offered some pertinent thoughts on our dilemma and our responsibilities. I wanted to share a few notes I took and offer a few thoughts that were helpful to me and will possibly be for you too. 

“Every single person needs to understand that they have purpose. You are either, right now, adding to the hurt or adding to the healing of your church, of your neighborhood, your community, and America. Love stands at the intersection of everything you’re about to say or decide.” 

Absolutely. None of us are neutral. We are all helping or hurting.

“If you are mad, you are not in a position to eloquently articulate what you would really like to say in the name of Jesus. So check your temper…You can step out of context and pretty much say whatever you want, but that doesn’t make it true…Always lead with your ‘grace foot.’ You don’t know what you don’t know about their life, about their day, about whatever this chain reaction of emotion is that has just gone off in them…We’ve got to be able to come back to the core of who we are and why we are, and that’s Jesus.”

We have no place or reason to make comments, posts, or try to influence in any way without our emotions being under the control of the Spirit, our purpose being absolutely clear, and grace and humility being the most obvious characteristics we have.

“At the end of the day, [God] doesn’t look at us as Republicans and Democrats. He doesn’t even look at us as Americans. He looks at us as his children, all of us made in his image.”

Until we realize that and are thankful God views us that way, we are not in tune with His heart, so our first prayer needs to be for ourselves.

And that is the action we can and must take, without exception. Back to the Scriptures, David lived in a polarized, pressured time and he found that focusing on God and His direction and guidance brought him security, stopped his anxiety, and brought peace. Jesus told us there would never be a time that we should give up, lose hope, or become discouraged. He said always keep praying. No matter how polarized our culture is, how pressurized our lives are, this is our foremost responsibility and privilege.

Church—let’s pray. The world doesn’t need our opinions and posts, but it is dying for our prayers.