Prayer and the Gospel: Hope in the Midst of America’s Brokenness

Veteran Funeral

Our hearts break as our nation struggles through this difficult time. We hurt for the families of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile and the police officers who were killed, Lorne Ahrens, Michael Krol, Michael Smith, Brent Thompson, and Patrick Zamarippa. Let’s pray for these families and these communities in their grief.

Unmistakably, our nation faces a difficult time with mounting racial tension and hostility. For believers, it is a time to pray. We need to pray for God to break our own hearts over our sin. We should pray for God to break our hearts over our apathy and spiritual half-heartedness. We should pray for God to move in churches and bring revival. We need to pray that God will move in this nation, bringing a great awakening. We need to pray for our law enforcement and government leaders (1 Tim 2:1-2). Pray for their integrity, wisdom, and protection.

In reality, the true and lasting solution to racial tension and division is the gospel. During the first century, the enmity between Jews and Gentiles was substantial. Yet, through Christ even this division could be overcome. Consider Paul’s words concerning Jesus and reconciliation, “For he himself is our peace, who has made us both one and has broken down in his flesh the dividing wall of hostility” (Eph 2:14). In Christ, even the Jews and Gentiles could be made one! If we want to see an America that is united, then we need to share the gospel.

Further, as believers we must model a love for others within our faith family. Jesus told His disciples that the world would recognize them by their love for each other (John 13:35). Unbelievers should be able to look at our church family and see the reality of the life-transforming power of the gospel. Our church family should be a place where we love and care for each other without regard for the color of our skin, socio-economic factors, or any human construct.

In these difficult days, let’s be a people of prayer. Let’s be a people who share the only true and lasting hope for racism and for all sin. Will you pray? Will you tell others about Jesus?

Now, is a Great Time to Pray, Refocus, and Share the Gospel

He Is Risen Religious Background

With Easter around the corner, let’s think about who we will invite to church on Easter morning and look for ways to begin gospel conversations. Certainly, many people are more likely to attend church on Easter than at any other time of the year. If we really believe the message of the resurrection, then we ought to be like the early followers of Jesus who couldn’t keep quiet about Jesus.

In fact, Peter and John were boldly preaching about the resurrection of Jesus. Their message troubled the Jewish leaders who had Peter and John arrested and brought before the Sanhedrin. Peter and John were warned to quit telling others about Jesus. The two men responded, “For we cannot stop speaking about what we have seen and heard” (Acts 4:20). What about us? Can we not stop speaking about Jesus?

Let’s pray about this opportunity for evangelism and look for ways to tell others about the good news of the gospel. Let’s pray for friends and neighbors that we’ll invite to church and that we’ll strive to tell about the the good news of Jesus. Let’s pray for God to open the eyes of those who don’t know Jesus that they might see and believe (2 Cor. 4:4). Our celebration of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus is about much more than egg hunts, Easter dresses, and family meals. Let’s truly celebrate the truth of the resurrection by telling others the good news that He is risen! What message is needed more?

Let’s make prayer and sharing the gospel central to our celebration of Christ’s resurrection. Pray for those who don’t know Christ. Pray for boldness in sharing the gospel. Pray that your church’s worship service will be faithful to the Word and that the gospel will be preached clearly. Pray that those who don’t know Jesus will see and believe. After all, isn’t this what the resurrection of Jesus is all about–that in Christ dead men and women can live!