This morning as I was riding in my car, attempting to arrive at work and get a head start on some of the items on my mental “to do” list, a local church’s billboard caught my eye. Known for displaying a simple and rather poignant inspirational phrase or a new line of scripture every week, I always look forward to discovering what biblical angle is being supported by the daily Christian application on the billboard. It helps me remember to above all, keep God first in everything I do and also creates an opportunity – before I’m distracted by anything else that day – to share that simple word of encouragement with someone else.
Today, I’d like to share what I read with you. The church’s billboard display read in plain bold letters “Prayer: The Original Wireless Connection.” What does it mean? Before BlackBerry devices or iPads and iPhones, prior to wireless internet connections on Fountain Square or in one of the coffee shops in Northside, we had prayer – our primary source to communicate with God. And guess what? Even after all of these aforementioned high-tech devices (which often keep us from engaging in prayer for ourselves, our situations and each other) are gone, we still have prayer. So what does it all mean?
This phrase really got me thinking. When I finally arrived to work just a few moments ago and was compelled to write about it and share how it made me feel, I started looking for scriptures that support, encourage or instruct us regarding prayer. A few came to mind.
James 5:16 – Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.
Phillipians 4:6-7 – “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”
As a sidebar, I began to ask myself, “Well, what if people don’t know how to pray?” Are you asking yourself the same question, too? Well, of course, Jesus already taught us how to pray when He gave us The Lord’s Prayer, a model of how to go before God in prayer. If you’re unfamiliar or simply need a refresher, take a moment to read Luke 11:3-4. We all know it already. “Give us each day our daily bread and forgive us our trespasses…”
In my search for more on prayer today, I stumbled across a peculiar application that not only baffled me as a member of the Christian community, but encouraged me to do something about it. I’m an active participant within the gospel music industry and the music, media and entertainment industry at large, but one thing I’ve noticed is that those within the world of gospel are no longer leading by example. With blogging and Facebook-ing and Tweeting at an all time high it’s so easy to fall into the trap of exploiting negativity. It’s so easy to forget to 1) research something before you speak about it and 2) when you do form an opinion, you allow room for there to be other opinions and perspectives from other people.
Why? Because the Bible says in Proverbs 4:7 that “Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding.” Far too often, we suffer or cause one another to suffer unnecessarily because we didn’t stop to take the time to inform, equip, inspire and ultimately empower our brothers and sisters on a regular basis. We’re consumed and preoccupied by drama, gossip and even lies and outright deceit. We’re caught up in the things of this world therefore becoming no good and no benefit to your brother or sister who needs you to merely pay attention to them and pray for/with them.
A similar topic of discussion is going on right now with the bloggers at GospelPundit.com. As I mentioned earlier, I stumbled across something that stirred up something within me and I had to share it. Someone is indeed praying. In fact, we all should be. Read more by clicking the link to find out what’s happening concerning prayer for one another, but in the meantime I’ll sum up the premise in case you rushing to get to the point. The gospel music industry, its fans and supporters, the churches we come from or attend faithfully, the on-air personalities, the DJs, the program directors, the sales associates, the listening audience, the bloggers, the Tweeps (and so on and so forth) all need to take a moment to engage in a little bit of prayer. First, pray for yourself that God will continue to cover you and guard your eyes and ear gates so that nothing will penetrate or impact the vessel inside that is not kingdom related. Secondly, pray for your brothers and sisters so that in the event they need you to pray with them, you’ve already communicated or connected with God regarding their issue therefore God’s already worked it out on both your behalf. And lastly, pray for us all no matter how big or small you are led to believe your contribution to the world may be.
I said all of this this morning to say that prayer works and it does more than any cell phone, wireless computer or high-tech, over-priced gadget could ever do. How do we know? Glad you asked. Prayer changes things only for God’s people because “all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.” (Romans 8:26-28). So if you’re willing to send a text message with the latest gospel gossip or pop culture catch phrase, then you ought to be willing to pray for the source and recipient you’re intending to send it to. If you can blog about it, you can pray about it first. Why is this necessary? Because prayer affords the opportunity for us to directly communicate and reconnect with our primary source of information – the one who created the information in the first place. The Great I Am. The Most High. The Creator. The Lord God Almighty.
In closing, I ask you one simple question. Are you connected?