Something I never observed as “controversial” or knew was, is prayer. But recent weeks and days of observing social media posts, signaling what to feel and how to act or react has made me realize, sadly, yes, prayer, let alone the idea to pray often, is controversial.
This is a sad thing to type.
When we, collectively, begin to believe this, it’s a day deserving of sitting up and taking notice.
There’s been a lot of debate in a divisive manner that has perpetuated this idea that prayer, essentially, is ineffective. Now, I also understand where some people are coming at this argument from. It’s a place of the past rather than the totality of this present. Nonetheless, I personally believe (which is always what these posts are, my personal opinion), this messaging is divisive and dishonest. If prayer is ineffective than why should be ever pray? Why should we ask for healing or wisdom or a soulmate? Why should we pray for anything?REJECT CULTURE AND ITS MESSAGE. PRAY OFTEN. PRAY ALWAYS. PRAY SINCERELY. #PRAYER #PRAY #DICUSSION #CONTROVERSIAL #CULTURE #CHRISTIANITY Click To Tweet
I remember hearing commentary looking back on September 11th and how people united. If not in ideology, they did so under the belief there’s pride in being able to call ourselves an American. Of being proud to raise a flag representative of our Freedoms and all that means – good and sacrificial. Some two decades later, the same cannot be said. Despite promise to the contrary, reactions like prayer is ineffective, is anything but uniting.
I saw a post from someone I have followed for years recently on a similar subject. All I could see of their post was that they were about to say something controversial. I had to click through to read the post in full and I’ll confess, I felt depressed reading what they felt is now controversial: the act and importance of prayer. I don’t disagree with this conclusion as prior to reading the post I had been seeing tweets like this.
When did sincerely offered prayers become bad, negative or controversial?
In any tragedy, sure that may seem insignificant but when there is that great of pain, there is nothing else that a bystander can do that will have greater effect. Perhaps part of why prayer cannot have an even more powerful reach or effect is because too many of us doubt. Sure we pray and we have sincere empathy, but do we truly pray in a way that believes God comforts? He can be present? He can heal? Have we lost this sincere way to believe He is near us in our worst – and best, moments?
Prayer isn’t just for bad times. It’s also for good times. Perhaps this is another way we misuse prayer. Do we only reserve it for when times are bad? That too is a bad practice.
Praying to God should never be controversial. When we doubt, there isn’t the strength of sincere and honest belief behind the prayer. I never thought of prayer as controversial. But realizing it and observing that mentality take root is indeed a sad reality.
May we always strive to reject this. Let’s instead pray often, always and with sincerity.
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