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In recent months, the mainstream media and social media critics have ridiculed Christians for their practice of praying for victims of tragedy. They’ve said that thoughts and prayers aren’t enough, claiming that only “true action” can remedy the horrors we face in our world.
I’ll admit that simply saying you will pray for someone is not enough. Our troubled world needs more than mere lip service; we desperately need more Christians who will pray for and with people in real, powerful ways.
Speaking from personal experience, I worry that many Christians tend to discount themselves, believing they are “not great Christians” and therefore don’t feel comfortable or even worthy of speaking into people’s lives as we are called to do.
THE APOSTLE PAUL AND THE RESURRECTED JESUS — A JOURNEY THROUGH HIS SEVEN FINAL EPISTLES
It’s true–we all fall short of the holiness to which we are called. But the best part of the Gospel is that those of us who have accepted Jesus have already been deemed holy by our Father in Heaven. This is something my dad, David Limbaugh, and I elaborate on in our new book, “The Resurrected Jesus.”
In this book, we explore the Apostle Paul’s last letters to the growing early churches. What I found most intriguing in our studies was that many of the issues the very first Christians faced are problems we continue to grapple with today.
Our troubled world needs more than mere lip service; we desperately need more Christians who will pray for and with people in real, powerful ways.
Dad and I loved exploring how Paul, while widely known for his dogmatic approach to stamp out heresies, was also an incredible encourager to his contemporary cohorts in the body of Christ.
LIMBAUGH FATHER-DAUGHTER BOOK ABOUT THE BIBLE AIMS TO INSPIRE EVERYDAY PEOPLE IN THEIR FAITH
He continuously built up his fellow Christians’ faith by urging them to live up to the calling Jesus had already assured they could accomplish through His sacrifice. In one of my favorite excerpts, we expound on Colossians 3:2, where Paul encourages believers in Colossae to set their minds on heavenly–rather than earthly–things:
“Upon their conversion they had died to Christ (2:20) and been spiritually reborn as new creations (2 Cor. 5:17), so their citizenship is in heaven…We must presently seek these heavenly things. ‘The world needs heavenly people as never before, and this is what Christians are when they live up to their true identity,’ writes J. Philip Arthur. ‘The message of this passage to Christians, whether in the first or twenty-first century, then, is: ‘Be what you are!’”
Indeed, we need to realize what and who we are. Do we fully grasp that, as believers we actually have the Holy Spirit of Jesus Christ Himself living inside of us? How different our prayers might look, and how much more powerful they’d be if we did. While Jesus physically walked on the earth, He preached, taught, miraculously healed the sick, cast demons out of people, and did so many other things beyond the scope of our comprehension (John 21:25).
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These signs and wonders were meant to increase, not decrease, when Jesus ascended back to Heaven, as He explained to His disciples when He told them of the Holy Spirit in John 16: “At that time you won’t need to ask me for anything. I tell you the truth, you will ask the Father directly, and he will grant your request because you use my name. You haven’t done this before. Ask, using my name, and you will receive, and you will have abundant joy” (v 23-24 NLT).
Do we fully grasp that, as believers we actually have the Holy Spirit of Jesus Christ Himself living inside of us? How different our prayers might look, and how much more powerful they’d be if we did.
Therefore, as individual members of the body of Christ with different spiritual gifts (Eph 4), the next time tragedy strikes in the lives of our loved ones or on a larger scale, let’s invite the Holy Spirit to guide us in ways only He can.
Let’s approach the people facing tragedy and pray with them or get together with a group of fellow believers and pray together with bold faith for God to move in miraculous ways.
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Prayer is absolutely the most powerful response to a hurting world. We just need to believe it ourselves and act accordingly.
“I am the Lord;
there is no other God.
I have equipped you for battle,
though you don’t even know me,
so all the world from east to west
will know there is no other God” (Isaiah 45:5-6 NLT).
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