"I'll Pray About It"<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" />
Some time ago, American slang developed a new vernacular - to "cop-out," roughly defined as: a lame excuse, a pretext, a going back on your responsibilities to avoid trouble, a cowardly or feeble evasion.
"I'll pray about it" has become a "cop-out" for many, a quick answer when challenged to get up off their padded pews, [or cinema style stadium seat, complete with cup holder] and take action on behalf of the Church of Jesus Christ. What lucky few of us have not heard it? "Well, I don't know if I should get involved, tell you what I'll pray about it, and let you know." That dodge, my friends, is a Christian cop-out, a pretext, a cowardly and feeble evasion of the duties and responsibilities of a Christian soldier in God's Salvation Army.
Don't misunderstand me, prayer is always where Christians should start. In James 5:16, the Word says: "The fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much." The Bible emphasizes the power of prayer.
However, the Bible also emphasizes placing one's faith into action, just as Jesus' life and teaching included both prayer and action. The lesson of the Good Samaritan parable is not found in examining the religious or lay leader; rather it is the actions of the Samaritan that loved enough to do something that we are to model.
Suppose a brother or sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to him, "Go, I wish you well; keep warm and well fed," but does nothing about his physical needs, what good is it? In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead. (James 2:15-17)
The market driven, "felt needs" church is turning Christianity into a spectator sport, where a feel good gospel encourages members that all they need to do is attend church, be active in a small group, and drop a tax deductible check in the offering. Of course, if you really feel burdened to do more, you can always solicit everyone you ever met for money to take a missions trip and suffer for the Lord is some exotic third world country.
Think I am being a bit rough? Today in America, nearly 4,000 babies died due to abortion, traditional marriage is under attack across the nation, two men kissing on broadcast television in prime time is no longer even noteworthy, the mere mention of God, Christianity, and prayer to the Lord Jesus Christ is being systematically banned from the public square, explicit pornography is almost unavoidable in our society, and gambling is so pervasive that grade school kids know how to deal Texas Hold'em on the playground.
When was the last time you heard a solid sermon teaching God's Word on any one of these sinful blights on our culture? I can't remember either. Have we become "conscientious objectors" rather than Christian soldiers?
Pick a cause, get involved, make a difference for the <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags" />Kingdom of Jesus Christ, and don't you dare say "I'll pray about it".
"Practical prayer is harder on the soles of your shoes than on the knees of your trousers." Austin O'Malley
Worldview Weekend Foundation
PO BOX 1690
Collierville, TN, 38027 USA