Many, many people say they want to change the world. They want to make a difference. They speak of "energy," of the spirit of the group. And, in these springtime days, they are drawn to marches. The million women's march. The march for the environment. And, on May Day, the march for jobs.
In almost all the radio and TV news reports, the theme identified is something negative. The marchers, young and old, all against something. And, it turns out, they are against someone. They are against the newly elected president of their country. The themes described before the marches sounded lofty. But once there, the march leaders have a different idea. It is negative. It is protest. They want to bring someone down. They cry words like "impeachment." And, worse.
I believe for many, it is well meant. They see it simply as free speech. But, it soon borders on hate speech. They feel invigorated to be experiencing rage. They are sure they are right.
I too, in my heart, want to change the world. I want to confront evil, and defeat it. I want to turn back the dark tide. I want to have a little longer to do that.
But today, on May Day, I reflect that as a Christian, I want to lift up Jesus. I want to bring in the Kingdom. I want to change hearts, and communities. I want to help "the beloved community" do the work of love - where they are, and across the world.
One practical strategy has emerged. And it's not gathering a great crowd. It's not shouting. It is the opposite. It is prayer. It is earnestly, honestly addressing God, through Jesus His Son, Who came to change us all, and win us to our Father.
"Come to Me," He says. "Pray," He says. "With all your heart and mind, soul and strength." Speak to God. Put before Him your heart, your deep desire. Speak for peace. Speak for love. Act out these words. Pray for people. Pray for nations. Pray for leaders.
Pray for the leaders we have - in the church, in the town, in the country.
If we follow those who've brought that message, we'll find it works. We'll find it is power, straight from God. Prayer does change the world.
Decades ago, Frank Laubach, great missionary to the Philippines, said, "If all those in nursing homes (people aged, infirm, and immobile) were to pray for peace, peace would come."
I want to do that. I want to make a new effort to be a man of prayer. To persist in my prayers. Daily. To not give up. To speak it, and live it. And see what happens.
Arthur A Rouner, Jr -
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ARTHUR ROUNER MINISTRIES