“He departed to the mountain to pray.”  Mark 6:46

“He looked up to heaven, blessed and broke the loaves and gave them to His disciples.”  Mark 6:41

“…named Gethsemane and He said to His disciples, ‘Sit here while I pray'”.  Mark 14:32

The answer to the questions is absolutely, emphatically, with no smidgen of doubt, YES!  So if you read no further I want to make it crystal clear what I believe is the correct and only answer to the question (though I hope you’ll read further).

Why even ask the question?  I ask the question because; first, we’ve had another tragedy, another mass shooting in the United States.  They are coming with an alarming frequency and perhaps because there seems to be no stopping them, I heard a new and disturbing discussion on a mainstream media news show.  A tabloid newspaper was taking some leaders to task because the leaders were asking for prayers for the victims, families and city.  The paper was making the comment that prayer was not enough.  The news program went on to start a discussion with the question is prayer enough with an undertone that God can’t or won’t intervene so we’re left to our own devices.

In looking for an answer to the practice and sufficiency of prayer I found myself looking to Him, Jesus, who provides us with the perfect example for all things.  Let’s start off with this mystery; Jesus was fully God, who had been with the Father and had an intimate relationship with and knowledge of the Father and His plan for salvation.  Yet, and here’s the mystery, Jesus was fully man; he ate, slept, cried, laughed, could feel pain and Jesus prayed.  Sometimes He prayed within hearing as an example to His disciples.  Though sometimes Jesus went away alone, showing that He needed that intimate, solitary conversation with His Father.  Jesus shows us just how vital prayer is to our successful existence here on earth.

Now, let’s see the outcome or aftermath of His prayer.  After sending the crowd away and going to the mountain to pray, Jesus comes back and walks on water to His disciples!  After Jesus looks to His Father in Heaven and blesses and breaks the loaves, those very few loaves feed 5, 000!  After Jesus goes alone further into the garden, falls to His knees and agonizingly prayers to His Father for the strength to continue; for His Father’s Will to be done, Jesus is able to fulfill the Father’s plan for our salvation on the cross.  Make no mistake prayer came first.

You see Dear Sisters and Brothers, that is why prayer is enough.  True, open, humble communication with our Heavenly Father, in the Name of His Son Jesus Christ, gives us the direction to go, the wisdom to act and the strength and courage to go forth.  By praying first and receiving the answer then faithfully acting on the answer, it sanctifies our actions allowing us to be faithfully confident in the direction we are going.

So in the case of tragic events that beset us and the world; what should we be praying for?  Well, it would be somewhat pretentious on my part to tell anyone what to pray for; that is between you and Our Heavenly Father.  But I will tell you for me, I pray for the comfort of those in mourning.  I pray for healing and restoration for those remaining lives shattered.  I pray for reaching out and connection for those troubled souls who believe that violent actions are the best means to their ends.  I pray for protection for those brave souls who stand vigilant guard to protect us from evil.  I pray for a turning to God for those who aren’t in a relationship with Him and a reaffirming of God’s supremacy and love for those who have that relationship.  Finally, as I do with each post, I pray for you who are reading these words.  I pray that you  will find a blessing from God in the reading of this and humbly, through His Spirit these words might bring praise to His Name.  So I end as I began: Is prayer enough?   Absolutely, emphatically, without a smidgen of doubt: YES!

Our Most Gracious Heavenly Father, we are so very thankful that You, the Creator, in Your Mercy, desire such a close relationship with we Your creation that we can come to You in prayer.  Forgive us when we neglect that relationship and communication and attempt to go our own way.  Bless our prayer life that we may experience the power and wisdom that comes from interacting prayerfully with You.  Today we pray for the victims of the recent mass shooting, their families and community as well as the innocent victims of evil violence across this world.  I pray for a blessing to all whom may be guided to these words; that You will bring peace and comfort to them.  This we pray in the Name of the One who taught us through His example how to pray, Jesus Christ. Amen

 

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