Life has an ebb and flow. We start to feel as if our life is moving in the right direction, and then we are hit at the top of the climb and fall hard. The wind gets knocked out of us, and it takes us a bit to get back up. After we get back on our feet again, we look around for people to help us move forward, because we can't do it alone.
But in the Christian circle, we often receive many more statements like: “I'll pray for you” rather than “I'll walk with you.”
I'm guilty of this too. As a friend reminded me recently, “I'll pray for you” is a statement that shows empathy without having to take any action. I truly believe many Christians are praying, but as powerful as prayer is, we still need each other.
God created us as a body. 1 Corinthians 12:27 says:
“Now you are the body of Christ, and each of you is a member of it.”
God's followers are a body — a family. We are called to stand together, hold each other up, and be there for each other. We are the hands and feet of Christ here on earth, and if we spend our days verbalizing phrases of comfort without getting our hands dirty or any skin in the game, then we are not representing Christ at our best.
Galatians 6:2 says:
“Bear one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.”
I understand this to mean more than just pray about each other's burdens. We must be carrying some of the weight and become encourages in addition to offering prayer. Jesus took the time to pray, but then He served.
Sometimes praying is all we can do, and in those cases, we should follow through and pray hard. But in other cases, God is providing an answer to prayer through us, if we are willing.
So next time you are listening to a friend talk about his trials or read a loved one's cry for help on social media, instead of verbalizing or typing “Praying for you!” Why don't you try offering a service? You are resourceful and have much more to offer the people around you than a, sometimes empty, promise of prayer. Fill in the gaps and be the village those people need. You were given gifts for a reason. Use your monetary blessings to lighten a financial burden. Use your spare time to cook a meal or to sit with others in need and genuinely listen. And if you aren't equipped for serving, connect hurting people with someone who can meet their needs.
Let's live out being the body of Christ and watch a transformation happen right before our eyes! I think we can all agree that active Christianity is a force to be reckoned with!