10 Reasons Prayer is the Ultimate Protest
Carrie DedrickWhat topic related to Christianity, faith, and the Bible is trending online and in social media today?
- 2017 May 04
Today is the National Day of Prayer, an annual observance that invites people of all faith backgrounds to join in prayer for the United States of America. Established in 1952, the National Day of Prayer exists to mobilize believers to intercede on behalf of our nation and leaders.
This year, with such strong divisions in our country, the National Day of Prayer is needed more than ever.
We’ve recently seen thousands of people marching streets in America, demanding change from society. Some of these protests remained peaceful, while others broke out in riots. But there is another way to intervene when we a country on the verge of a breakdown.
Evangelist Nick Hall writes for the Fox News faith blog that at such a time as this, prayer can serve as a protest itself. How can this be? Hall says it is because, “... prayer provides an opportunity for every person to lay aside their differences and come together.”
Hall lays out 10 reasons why prayer is the ultimate protest:
1. Prayer admits we have a problem.
Hall writes, “When we pray, we’re acknowledging that God designed the world for order, but we’ve messed it up.”
Our country is not perfect. It is governed by imperfect people, and inhabited by imperfect people. It will continue to be imperfect, but we can turn our problems over to God.
2. Prayer admits we don’t have the final solution.
“What if, for just one day, we were humble enough to admit we don’t have all the answers?” Hall asks.
Some things are too complicated to handle on our own. It takes a certain degree of humility to admit to God (and ourselves) that we need help. But when we do, God moves.
3. Prayer goes to the right source.
Hall says, “When you want to protest disorder in the world, you knock on heaven’s door.”
Just like you wouldn’t go to a salon to have a tooth pulled, it doesn’t make sense to lay your greatest concerns with anyone but God.
4. Prayer is about being known and loved.
“Scripture tells us God is not like an unrighteous judge. He hears us, and He desires to answer us,” writes Hall.
How amazing is it that we can communicate with the Creator of the Universe? Our Father shows us how loved we are through these open lines of communication. We simply have to take that open door to prayer and relationship.
5. Prayer doesn’t require a degree in religion.
“Prayer works not because we’re perfect, but because we’re calling out to someone who is,” says Hall.
God hears our prayers just as loud as our pastor’s. Anyone can pray. It doesn’t matter who you are. There is a God who will listen.
6. Prayer gives the stress over too God.
Hall writes, “When we pray, we’re handing the weight of our burdens over to God because we realize only He can bring the change we want to see in the world.”
The Bible tells us to cast our burdens to the Lord (Psalm 55:22). Our heaviest weights are never too heavy for Him.
7. Prayer changes me.
Hall says, “When we pray, we realize our greatest need isn’t changed policies but changed hearts—and we are first in line.”
How many times have you prayed for someone else to change, only to feel convicted by the Holy Spirit to change yourself. That is what prayer does. It opens our eyes to see our own hearts, and purify them.
8. Prayer reframes the problem.
“While laws are important, society isn’t ultimately changed by behavior modification, but by heart alteration,” says Hall.
Prayer changes people, which changes society. As hearts change, we will gradually see injustices dissolve.
9. Prayer leads us to action.
“Contrary to popular perception, prayer is not passive; it’s not a spiritual opt-out from our problems,” writes Hall.
Prayer fills our hearts with conviction, and motivates us to work for the glory of God. It is the first step to a life of action for the Kingdom.
10. Prayer changes the world.
Hall writes, “Flip through the pages of history and you’ll see prayer as the fuel for culture-shaping movements... When we pray, God moves.”
Crosswalk.com contributing writer Sue Schlesman says that the Bible is filled with stories where prayer changed lives.
She writes, “People implored God to intercede in their messy lives, which of course, He did. As you read these incredible stories of answered prayers, notice two important aspects:
- The attitude and motives of the person who prayed
- The power with which God answered”
With this power, He can change our lives, communities, and nation as well.
How to Get Started
America needs our prayers right now. Crossway.org has compiled a beautiful resource of 9 Passages to Read on National Day of Prayer. I’d encourage you to read and ponder these Scriptures of hope, peace, thanksgiving, and faithfulness.
You can also pray along with Rebecca Barlow Jordan’s Prayer for Our Country and Our Leadership. A portion of her prayer is below:
Lord God, we desperately need your wisdom. You have given us a great country, founded on principles and truths from Your Word. We need men and women who will honor You, trust You, and lead us once again back to You. We pray for servant leaders who love the things You love and who care more about others than themselves...
We look to You and to You, only, Lord. Help us make wise decisions that move our country in the right direction. Help us to do our part in praying and in staying with what we know is right according to the truth of Your Word. Teach us to make our actions count and our words matter, and line them both up to Your sense of rightness, not ours. Guide us with Your eye; grip us with Your strong arm; teach us what we need to know to make our lives—and our nation—count for you. We pray for our leaders, but we ask You to make us both leaders and followers: leading in the way of Truth, and following those who honor You. In the precious and powerful name of Jesus, Amen
Carrie Dedrick is an editor of Crosswalk.com. When she is not writing or editing, she can usually be found teaching dance classes, running marathons, or reading with at least one adopted dog on her lap.
Photo credit: ©Thinkstock