I am not a student of politics. I look at issues, I vote, I read the news. On occasion, I’ll show up to a city council meeting if it’s something I really care about (like how the homeless are treated or where bike lanes need to be), but really, that’s about it.
Living in a country that has been at war or intervening somewhere for most of my life seems…normal; I don’t know any different. Watching videos of people being affected by chemical warfare is horrific. I have a friend that works in a high level of government, so high, I don’t really know what this person actually does. I just know there are many overnight meetings at the Capitol that he or she participates in. When I ask if Hollywood portrays an over-the-top dismal version of what actually happens in DC, this person doesn’t answer. That makes me think things are complicated beyond anything you or I could ever imagine.
It’s been top on news pages and on news casts for weeks now. I’ve probably followed it as much as an average person follows it – mostly because I feel the need to be engaged and educated but I also feel helpless. I think a lot of us do.
What can we do in our daily routines to actually influence anything? What should we believe? Who should we believe? What is a “Christian” response? What is a “Christian” response, anyway?
I’ve been thinking on this, hearing debates from friends and reading forwarded emails with animated gifs of American flags and yellow ribbons. And I truly believe this is what we are to do.
We are to pray.
I imagine if Jesus was asked what He thought about Syria, or if we should intervene or stay out, much like he did with the yes or no questions He was asked, he wouldn’t answer yes or no. He would share a story, a parable, and point us back to a principle of the Kingdom.
Jesus teaches us to pray Your Kingdom come, Your will be done…
Paul instructs to pray for our leaders, and with thanksgiving make our requests known…
What should Christians do about Syria? We should pray.
It seems almost like it’s too small a response. Like it is the pat answer someone would give when they don’t know what to say. That humble words said over food or from our safe pillows in our safe homes in our quiet evenings would not be enough.
But I believe it’s in these quiet and gentle moments of intercession that a much larger war is being fought and we are showing up and our words may be humble but they are bold and they are mighty because of the Spirit who intercedes for us.
It is prayer.
It is how we can fight.
It is how we should respond.
And this is how we should encourage others to participate as well. It is more powerful than a diatribe on Facebook or our emails with pictures of eagles.
Pray. Encourage others to pray. Seek humility. Fast from something. And pray even more.