Monday, September 1, 2014

Prayer is Followed by Action

Question number five: The  Church works for harmony, when it criticizes the government and is involved in demonstrations it is fostering dissent. Shouldn't the Church be praying for those in politics to be good servants of the people?
There  are two kinds of prayer. Prayer that is followed by action and prayer without follow-up.  Jesus said: "None of those who cry out,'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of God but only the one who does the will of my Father in heaven" (Matt 7:21). Jesus wants us to  work to realize what we pray.

Each Sunday at Mass we have the Prayer of the Faithful, where we remember the Church, evangelization, peace, environment, pray for our leaders, for the sick for the parish and our families etc. Each one of these intentions requires that we do something to bring about that for which we pray. Those who pray for our politicians and statesmen for a change of life and do nothing to implement that for which they pray, want those that are doing something, to quietly go and pray.

In the book of Exodus: we read that God hardened the heart of Pharaoh. This does not mean that God took away his freedom and will power and controlled his actions. Pharaoh who considered himself the son of the Sun God, in the thinking of those in the Old Testament, was in the hands of God, and expressed ironically, he was obstinate and stubborn and choose the way to destruction. God by means of Moses was destroying this stubbornness. God does his work through human beings. God was urging the Kings and people to repentance through the prophets. 

When the politician so something wrong we pray that they act correctly and help them. When they continue to do wrong we pray for a change in their actions and speak out about their actions and ask them to change. This is doing something with our prayers.

If Moses only prayed for the Pharaoh we would not have had the Exodus. If the prophets only prayed for the sovereign and the people, would we have the books of the prophets in the Old Testament? We do not read the books of the prophets, and only select the books that make us feel comfortable. Isn't this an area in which we have to confront ourselves?

On Twitter April 10th 2013,  Pope Francis posted: "Being a Christian is not just about following commandments: it is about letting Christ take possession of our lives and transform them." Pope Francis on his visit to Israel  invited the two leaders of Palestine and Israel  to the Vatican for the meeting to pray for peace. “I offer my home in the Vatican as a place for this encounter of prayer.” The pope did more than just pray.

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