Sunday, September 18, 2016

Don't Pray for Them

Don't Pray for Them
September 19, 2016
James 2:12  "Speak and act as those who are going to be judged by the law that gives freedom. . ."

If you were to take the stand in a court of law, you would be required to tell the truth under perjury of law, risking the consequences. If you did not tell the truth, you would be committing a crime.  To perjure yourself is to knowingly mislead others in the truth or mislead others with your words in opposition to your actions.  Most of us would not dare to do so in a court of law, the fines and sentences would not be worth the risk.  Yet Christians perjure themselves every day in front of the Lord.  The Bible asks who you say God is in your life.  If you respond that He is Lord of your life, then you better make sure the testimony of your actions parallels with the testimony of your words.  If your actions do not line up, then you are just giving lip service.  I often wonder how much lip service I give on any particular day.  I often wonder how much lip service other Christians have given in front of me over the years.

Specifically, lets examine when someone is in need.  If you learn of a need, a fellow Christian who lacks or is in a predicament, do you tell you you will pray for them?  Do you actually pray for them, a real truthful and heartfelt and honest prayer?  Count how many times you've said, "I'll be praying for you"  This suggests an ongoing state of prayer until the situation has been resolved.  I'm guilty of this.  I've told people I would pray for them, but only given them a positive thought before the Lord, not a heartfelt intimate prayer.  Very rarely do I fully pray through with them.  If you've done this, not fully prayed through with them, you've perjured yourself before your brother, too.

Take this one step further and read what the Bible says about someone else's need.  The Bible says to do something about it and not just wish them to be warm and well fed.  If you are a Christian, you are held to the full extent of Scripture, being ignorant or not.  The Bible says if you declare the God in heaven to be Lord of your life, then you would obey His commands and follow through with His requests.  He has requested you to help those in need, not just pray for them.  If you are aware of someones needs and yet do nothing about it, being fully convinced you are a Christian, then you have perjured yourself in front of God.  Technically, the Bible is calling us liars, should we decide not to help when we are aware of a need.  A court of law would convict us of committing a crime, should we only offer to pray for someone without trying to assist them in their need.  These words are tough and I'm likely to lose readers for declaring these truths about what the Bible says.  We don't want to think we are liars; we want to believe we are just fine in thinking positive thoughts for other people.  Don't bother praying for them if you are not willing to assist them as well.  Don't pray for them if you aren't willing to put some action behind those words.  Don't risk committing perjury before the Lord. 

Here is a suggestion.  The next time you are aware of a need, of a prayer request, pray a heartfelt and honest prayer.  Then tell the individual you will be helping them out.  Don't ask them if you can help; tell them you will be helping.  Warn them if they don't give you direction regarding how you can help, then you'll simply be doing what the Lord leads you to do.  But you are now required to do something, to put your faith into action.  This requires you to make the next prayer, which is asking the Lord what He'd like you to do, how He'd like you to help.  Ask and then listen, truly listen.  Don't pray for them unless you're also asking the Lord how you can help.  Don't pray for them unless you are going to do something.  Trust me, He'll have something for you to do if you uncover your ears and pull your head out of the sand.  It's time to start acting like a Christian, being convicted of being a Christian, not being convicted of perjury.  It's time to do something.

Don't take my word for it; look it up:  John 14:18-24, James 2:8-24

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