It doesn’t take a Ph.D. to determine that this world has gone mad. From politics to race relations, the human race has become a blustering ball of hate. We use the harshest of words to frame someone different than us as a villain. We do that on social media as we hide behind keyboards and in social discourse on the ballfield, the courtroom, the classroom, and the church. We have become angry mobs of like-minded minions swayed like a palm tree in a tropical storm.
Then what is that God would have us do to make an impact on this mess? The answer is straightforward if you claim to be a Follower of Jesus. Jesus said we should “love one another as I have loved you.” Well, how about that? Chuck, if I act more like Jesus, do I have to love “those people?” There is the rub. It isn’t about what you have to do; it is all about what Jesus does in you. You see, He directed us to love Him and that if we did, we would follow His commands. Of those commands, the most important thing was that we love God and others as we love ourselves. He said everything else was small compared to that. He said every other rule didn’t matter unless you got that one right.
That would mean we should focus on getting the love of God and others right in our lives.
But how? Thanks for asking!
- Don’t overthink this. Spend time with Jesus. Jesus loves us with an everlasting love. As a result, you can come to Him anytime you want because He first loved us! So, start talking to Him right now. “Hi Jesus, it’s me. It’s been a while, but I need some direction…” Just talk to him like you would a friend. He can’t wait to hear from you.
- Thank Him for breath, life, food, shelter, and whatever you are grateful for. When we place ourselves in a posture of gratitude, we can see how desperate we are for Him and how small we are in comparison. We also grow contented with gratitude as an awareness that what we have is enough when we are grateful.
- Ask Jesus for wisdom, good decisions, healthy relationships, and moment-by-moment direction for the day.
- Ask Him to reveal any poor attitudes, bitterness, resentment, sin, or anger in your life that you need to let go of. If you ask, He will answer. Often we need Him to get in the nooks and crannies of our souls and point out every way that we are not in sync with Him or others. Then ask Him to forgive and remove those. He is always faithful to do so.
- Pray for other people in your life. Everybody has needs, and every person on the planet needs people to pray for them.
- Bring your requests and needs to Him. He loves it when His kids come to Him for answers first.
- Pray it all in Jesus’ name, which is to say, Jesus, I trust you to take these prayers and do with them what is best for me and brings you glory.
- Keep this channel of conversation open all day. Talk with Jesus about everything. He can handle it.
Better politics, education, or wealth cannot redeem the world that has gone mad. But Jesus can! All things were made by Him, for Him, and through Him. That makes Him the linchpin that all of the universe is in need of. From India to Indiana, Latvia to Los Angeles, a world gone mad has one hope – growing to know, love, and trust Jesus. Why not pray for that to happen? That is as it is supposed to be. Followers of Jesus trusting that Jesus can and will change the world.
Here are five great reasons for you to pray without ceasing:
First, prayer is necessary. We are never too busy to pray. Most of us, much of the time, feel as if we are too busy to pray. We have to sleep, after all. We have to work. We have to take care of the kids. We have to have some downtime, don’t we? And when all those things we have to do are done, there is hardly any time for prayer! At least, that’s what we tell ourselves. And yet, the truth is that we need prayer as surely as sleep, food, and rest. Each of us relies on God, and we demonstrate this reliance by praying. Jesus had the weight of the world on his shoulders, and yet he prayed. How much more should we?
Second, prayer demands solitude. It is a powerful lesson – Jesus got away from the crowd to pray. He sought a place of quiet. Scripture does not command us to pray in solitude, but we should take the model of Jesus to heart. We should make it a personal discipline to unplug from the world before speaking to the One who made it.
Third, prayer will often be strenuous. Scripture says that “Jesus continued to pray all night.” He once rebuked his disciples for failing to stay awake to pray. Jesus felt the need to sleep and rest. Yet he believed it was more important for him to stay alert and pray. What makes us think that our prayer life should be easy? Persistence ought to be the hallmark of every believer’s prayers.
Fourth, prayer has a purpose. When we pray, we ought to know what needs to be accomplished. I like the well-worn acronym A.C.T.S. We pray to adore the Father because he is worthy of all adoration. We pray to confess our sins because we are to be daily aware of our need for forgiveness. We pray to thank God because an attitude of thanksgiving is a mark of every true believer. Finally, we pray supplication, asking God to provide because we know he cares about what we need. This is what it looks like for us to pray with a purpose.
Fifth, prayer is effective. Having stayed up all night talking to his heavenly Father, Jesus was ready to pick twelve men to serve him on earth. Jesus prayed, the Father answered, and Jesus chose the twelve. Jesus prayed because he knew no decision was outside the will of the Lord. But having prayed, Jesus acted. We pray because we know that God is sovereign. And then we act, trusting that God will guide our steps.
Yes, the world has gone mad, but Jesus can and will recover, heal and redeem this rotten world if His people choose to pray.
2 Chronicles 7:14
Then if my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sins and restore their land.