1 Peter 4:7 (NKJV) But the end of all things is at hand; therefore be serious and watchful in your prayers.
I grew up in the age of activism, when students sat down in public places to non-verbally demonstrate their feelings about social injustice, or picketed and chanted to protest war. My generation strongly objected to what was going on in the world and many felt the need to be involved in bringing about change.
People joined in on the protests for different reasons. Some really cared about the issues. Others were motivated by the urge to push themselves to do something bold that was outside their comfort zone. Still others participated because their friends were involved and they didn’t want to feel left out. Some stood on the sidelines and didn’t protest out of fear that they would get in trouble for it. Others just wanted to be seen…or heard.
Some things changed eventually…and some didn’t.
There are still many things wrong with our world. People still protest…and sometimes it makes a difference.
Today, protesting is sometimes done in other ways. In some cases, people are able to get attention by simply making noise or being annoying. There are corporations that actually pay people to make noise and be annoying, in order to get laws passed or changed so they will be able to do things the way they want to in business. There is a lot of ‘talk’ about human trafficking and other social injustices—but it continues. And war? Well, people just seem to keep on fighting…no matter what.
In all of these issues, there are people who are passionate to ‘have their say’. There are those who are trying to have a voice that will affect their circumstances in the way they would like to. But many others just look the other way.
There is another voice of activism on the earth that has risen up, and that is the voice of the united Christians of the world. People have come together in this generation as never before to organize mass prayer efforts to plead for mercy, grace, and forgiveness. There are many ministries that have been praying around the clock every day of the week, for years—for the healing of many things.
As you consider activism, you might ask yourself what kind of an activist you are. Up to this point, the acts of activists that have been mentioned are things that are ‘seen’ and ‘heard’. Outward expressions.
But, there is another type of activism I would like to present to you that is more of private expression—yet, still a powerful one.
In 2 Chronicles 7:14, God is encouraging His own people toward acts of humility. He is challenging His people to get down on their faces—stop talking to everybody else about the problems in the world—and start talking to Him. He is offering a solution to the sickness and a way to get the healing we need, but it involves humility. It involves stopping our own wrong habits, and having the willingness to ask for His help.
There are many ways we need to be humbled. The heart of God is touched by humility. He hates pride. Humans want to demand—but God wants us to seek, and cry, and plead. In many places throughout the Bible, God shows His displeasure against His ‘stiff-necked’ people. Have you ever stopped to think about what it means to be ‘stiff-necked’?
A position of submission is ‘to bow’, or tilt your head forward and lower your eyes. Someone who is ‘stiff-necked’ won’t bow their head—they’re too proud to do such a thing. Yet the Word of God is so clear. As we return to look at Psalm 37:11, we remember that the meek will inherit the land and enjoy peace and prosperity.
We would also benefit by recalling that The reward of humility and the reverent and worshipful fear of the Lord is riches and honor and life, as we are told in Proverbs 22:4.
As we consider what kind of activism is most effective, let’s also call to mind the words in Micah 6:8, ‘He has shown you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God?
Declaration: I will find new strength by becoming a humble prayer activist. I will continue to make a searching moral inventory of my own life and turn from my own wicked ways. I will seek, and cry, and plead—for mercy, grace, and forgiveness.
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