Prayer as activism

Friends have asked me on certain occasions if I am going to don a pink hat and march in protest, sign an online petition to combat climate change, or contribute money to help stop the cover-up of heinous crimes. We live in an age of activism, which is expressed in many ways, from “artivism” (activism through making art), to “hacktivism” (practiced by WikiLeaks), to “economic activism” (practiced by consumers boycotting corporations).

Many of us want to do something to promote positive change. Prayer is rarely seen as a viable first step in accomplishing this change. To many, it seems that it is not enough to pray. Indeed, the expression “Our thoughts and prayers are with you” is condemned as a meaningless condolence in the face of tragedy. This reflects the belief that prayer is powerless—just some comforting words—and that what we really need is human action.  

Yet there is an activist in the Bible who demonstrates the power of prayer, and that is Christ Jesus. Let’s look at one of Jesus’ healings—the one where he feeds the five thousand with a few fish and loaves of bread, which is recorded in all four Gospels in the Bible. To me, this is a clear example of effective activism, or “doing something”: It was prayer that met the human need. 

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Bible Lens
Bible Lens—July 8–14, 2019
July 8, 2019

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