As the world around us panics, reacting with unfettered hysteria at every unexpected event that happens on this planet.
We, the Church, must turn to prayer.
We know panic is a natural biological reaction to crisis. Its a default mechanism that is triggered when stuff hits the fan.
Panic then turns into pandemonium as it amplifies exponentially throughout our digital nervous system.
It spreads with every social media post we see. It goes viral with every news report we read.
Our phones and TVs begin to ignite with this ambient anxiety. We breath it in. We exhale it out. We now carry the contagion and spread it like a virus to every unsuspecting pedestrian on the street.
Paralysis is the inevitable result of this reaction.
We become so overwhelmed by the world’s problems, inundated with its suffering we eventually become inactive and unresponsive. Fatigue and frustration frame our reality as we become useless and purposeless.
That is not the life that Jesus has called us to live. We are called to transcend a baseline existence of panic.
Prayer is our passport out of this prison.
Not that we remain unaffected and unscathed by the havoc that humanity is steeped in.
Its that we have chosen to be preemptive in prayer. To be responsive rather than reactionary.
To be formed and informed by God’s presence. To let it shape us and mold us into the people ready, willing and able to respond.
Prayer is never a last resort. It’s always our first response.
Prayer should never be perceived as the “spare” tire that we turn to when there is a flat. Prayer is the steering wheel, guiding us to move forward into the future.
Its leading us to help and heal. Directing us onward to diminish the darkness and to constrain the chaos.
Prayer is never an escape, a way to opt out of actually doing something impactful.
Prayer is never an alternative to action.
In fact prayer is the place where we mobilize and are energized to be the hands and feet of Jesus.
Prayer is the intersection where heaven meets earth. Where we are endowed with the purpose and passion to make a difference.
Prayer is a place for preparation. Where God prepares our hearts to do His will in the world around us.
Prayer is a place for processing.
Where we bring the pain and problems of this world unfiltered. Where we process through the unspeakable. Where we mourn the unimaginable.
But prayer isn’t the answer…
Not for panic, not for problems and not for this world’s pain.
Jesus is and will always be the Hope for humanity.
Prayer is the place where we come face to face with Love personified.
Where we are vulnerable to Grace.
It’s where we look upon Jesus in all his fullness and beauty. Scripture tells us that we are then changed. Transformed by this encounter.
Instead of leaving prayer still looking like us
We start to look a lot more like Jesus.
We start to live and love like Jesus.
We start to seek out the last, the least, the lost and the lonely.
Our priorities change. Our perspective changes too.
Maybe even our politics change if we spend enough time in prayer (nothing is impossible).
Instead of a life governed by panic we allow ourselves to operate under the reign of peace.
A peace that surpasses all understanding. A peace that will make the world even wonder.
Prayer places us in a constant posture where peace is present and we can be present to those in need.
When the world turns to panic.
We turn to prayer.