By Jesse T Jackson
One of the most-used phrases in our Christian communities is “I’ll pray for you” or “I’ll be praying for that.” I also believe one of the most-used lies we tell people in our Christian communities is “I’ll pray for you” or “I’ll be praying for that.”
Please understand: I’m not pointing the finger at anyone—rather you are witnessing me falling to my knees in repentance. It is so easy to say those words to someone or about something (natural disasters, cities in crisis, world problems, etc.) than to actually stop what I am doing to speak to the One that has the power to help in any situation or crisis.
But Is Prayer Enough?
Now that I have that off my chest, I want to ask an important question that has been swirling around in my heart and mind over the past couple of days: Is prayer enough in a time of disaster? Or should we as His church focus our efforts toward other methods of assistance?
The Holy Spirit reminded me of what the Apostle Paul said in 2 Corinthians 1:3-4: “Praise be to God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, The Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.” Brothers and sisters, God comforts us so that we may comfort others. Let me say that again: God comforts us, the Father and creator of real true comfort and compassion so that we can have the opportunity to comfort others in times of affliction.
So should we be doing more than just praying for Texas right now? Should we be donating our cup of coffee money today? Should we fast from our lunch today and donate that money? Those that are close in proximity, should we as the church find out how we can be the literal hands and feet of Jesus Christ to those in need? Not only meeting their physical needs but also proclaiming to them how Jesus has met our spiritual needs as well? Should you and your church plan a trip to Houston in the near future?
What You Can Do Today!
These are just some super simple ideas, and I encourage you to pray (not just say it to someone or post on social media that you are or that we should) about what God wants you and your church to do in helping during this and any disaster or someone in crisis.
Ed Stetzer wrote a brilliant article about how best to help in times of crisis. His suggestions focus on helping organizations that are already equipped to help people in the most efficient ways. This kind of help—whether it is financial or volunteer work done under their umbrella—is often the best thing we can do. Organizations such as the North American Mission Board’s relief fund and the Red Cross are already on the ground in disaster areas. Additionally, you can donate money through iTunes to the Red Cross.
To put things in perspective, 5 million people spent $100 each to watch two men punch each other in the face this past Saturday. It was an event that lasted less than an hour. Let’s make sure as Christ-followers we are not only good stewards of our money but of our time as well. Let’s give it to those in need not just to our own entertainment.
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