Do you Pray?

Such a strange, surreal time.

It seems few people, despite the troubling times we live in, are turning to God in prayer. There appears to be far more attention paid to the political landscape, with little thought to turning to God during what is certainly the most unique time in USA history, considering our country chose to turn-off its economy as if it were turning off a lamp in an unused room. We chose to turn off a 23-trillion-dollar economy with little time given to the potential destruction it might bring.

In general there are two sides to this situation. There are those who think this is an incredibly horrible virus that we must do everything possible to stop. The other side agrees its dangerous, yet they doubt the the numbers and they doubt the overall risk to the public. No matter which side one falls on, this is either a terrible situation because the virus is horrible and nearly apocalyptic, or its terrible situation because of our overreaction. Either way, we are in a terrible situation.

Have you ever read the Book of Jonah? It is one of my personal favorites because of its deep messages from God, yet also for the imperfect image of humanity we find in the person, Jonah (God often chose deeply flawed people). Here is a related passage:

Now the word of the Lord came to Jonah the son of Amit′tai, saying, Arise, go to Nin′eveh, that great city, and cry against it; for their wickedness has come up before me.” But Jonah rose to flee to Tarshish from the presence of the Lord. He went down to Joppa and found a ship going to Tarshish; so he paid the fare, and went on board, to go with them to Tarshish, away from the presence of the Lord. [Jonah 1:1-3 RSVCE, italics added]

The wickedness in Nineveh rose to the Lord. The Lord planned to send Jonah to the great city to preach a saving message. Of course, as the account unfolds, we learn Jonah wanted no part of what God had in store for him (a typical response that could be made by many people). The passages do not reveal what form or type the wickedness held, yet it must have been quite debased and widespread for the Lord to intervene. Have you ever given our culture thought with these passages in mind? Today, our culture has a massive list of newly accepted norms that would have made someone from just 50 years ago blush. Consider:

Abortion – 60,000,000 innocent unborn babies killed since Roe v. Wade.

Divorce – Highest rates of broken marriages in USA history.

Living together – the sin of fornication is so common few ever notice.

Adultery – many continue to see this as sinful, despite its frequent use.

Same-Sex Marriage – Legal in the USA since 2015. In five short years it now receives 63-70% approval in the USA, despite thousands of years of human history having considered homosexual acts as sinful.

Gender Confusion – the notion of two sexes, male and female, as God intended from the beginning, is being replaced by more than 50 different gender classifications. This is being taught (by the force of law in many states) to our children, creating a future generation that will no longer hold the truths God gave. Sex reassignment surgeries are becoming commonplace, and parents often have no legal right to intervene for their children.

Spirituality vs. Religion – there is a massive movement away from worshipping God according to centuries and millenniums of traditions. The new spirituality propagates a mentality of anything goes, anything that makes you happy is acceptable. God’s Commandments and the Bible are considered oppressive roadblocks by people today, with Biblical literacy plummeting.

Materialism – It is clear in western countries that the pursuit of money and material goods have become an obsession for a great many people.

Science, the new God – Millions have made science their new God. Many even speak of science in language typically attributed to people of faith, “I follow the science,” etc.

The list can go on, and for the sake of this discussion, it makes no difference if you think other issues belong on the list, or if you feel items on this list should not be there. The point is, returning to the Jonah account, how can we say we are any better than the people of ancient Nineveh? It is easy to read the Jonah account and think, “Those people must have done some awful things,” yet we legally take the life of 3,000+ innocent unborn babies every day (in the USA alone). I cannot fathom anyone thinking God is “okay” with us killing 3,000 innocent unborn babies every day.

Perhaps we do not need a Jonah to bring a message from God, maybe we need thousands of Jonah’s, millions. We are journeying through the COVID19 crisis, the riots, and looting, massive political strife, division among citizens that have placed hardships among family members, and yet through it all it seems few people are turning to God for an answer.

If you have faith, and if you have areas in your life to clean-up, do so now, and turn to God in prayer. Perhaps say a Divine Mercy Chaplet begging God to have mercy upon you, upon your family, and upon the world. Ask Mary and the saints to pray for us. Go HERE to say the chaplet.

If you do not have faith, perhaps you can say a Divine Mercy Chaplet asking God to give you the gift of faith. Go HERE to say the chaplet.

Prayer is a powerful source that taps into the Divine Will for our lives. Dedicate time every day, even if its 5-10 minutes, to pray. Start your day on prayer. End your day in prayer. Offer your work and your activities to the Lord every day.

God can restore the world and our country, we merely have to turn to Him and ask for His help. Despite our innate intelligence, we are powerless to bring peace and happiness to the world with God.

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