Yesterday, Pastor Tom preached about the impetus of reformation and humanitarianism lying on our own shoulders. We often find ourselves on our knees (literally or figuratively) asking God to perform a miracle for someone, for ourselves, or even for our congregation. But what does this really accomplish? Certainly I do not claim that prayer is worthless. Not at all! Scriptures teach us that prayer is important and even that God answers prayers. But how does he answer prayers?
One of my least favorite statements is “I’ll pray for you.” If there is action that follows the prayer, then it’s a good thing. However, if it is as it often is, then it is merely a cop out from having to do anything to help. We through up a prayer to heaven like an incantation and basically say “Ok, it’s on you Big Guy” and we wash our hands of it. Prayer should ALWAYS be followed by action to make the prayer be answered.
We have all heard the stories of people who were in a dire financial situation when a check showed up for exactly the right amount to meet their needs. Has this ever happened to you? Yeah, me neither. But let’s think for a minute how such a “miracle” happens. Someone has a need and they voice it. They voice it enough times and hit the pavement doing what ever they can to get the need met. Somebody hears about the situation and either does a fund raiser or writes a check on their own and the need gets met. Next thing you know there is a check in the mail for exactly the right amount. Miracle? Maybe, maybe not. It’s definitely not magic, but it IS a need being met nonetheless and regardless of being a miracle or not it does not take away from the amazing aspect of being saved from such a situation!
So, what does this have to do with us? Pastor Tom pointed out an important part of the scripture in the feeding of the 5,000. When the disciples noticed it was getting late and told Jesus that they should wrap up the presentation because people needed to get home and eat – what did Jesus say? “Oh yeah, it is getting late, isn’t it?” “Check this out, I’ll have 10,000 fish jump on shore and we’ll have a barbecue!” Nope! He said YOU feed them. This is where we are as a congregation. Undoubtedly, most of us are praying for a flood of young families to appear out of nowhere some Sunday morning and stay with us – helping us to meet both financial and attendance needs. Well, guess what? Yep, you guessed it – it ain’t gonna happen. WE have to get up off of our knees and start making those prayers come to fruition. So, how do we do this? Stay tuned for the next post – IUCC Vision 2012.
We CAN become the congregation we want to be. We just need to dust off our knees and get our hands dirty.