Prayer and the Golden Rule
At this point we are in month six of being closed due to a global pandemic. We are not back to meeting together at church. Many of our children have just begun another school year online, unable to see their friends and teachers face to face. Our feeling of disconnect may have us feeling discouraged and hopeless. And lately, I feel like I need to be reminded of this: nothing can disconnect us from God. And one way to connect with God is through prayer. Our prayers do not need to be fancy and perfect to be powerful, and they can connect us in times of uncertainty and bring us hope.
I recently read a blog by Tony Souder called, “Prayer and the Golden Rule.” In his blog Souder discusses the famous passage in scripture we refer to as “The Golden Rule,” found in Matthew 7:12: “do to others whatever you would like them to do to you. This is the essence of all that is taught in the law and the prophets.” This famous verse immediately follows Jesus’s teaching on effective prayer as part of his sermon on the mount:
“Keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks, receives. Everyone who seeks, finds. And to everyone who knocks, the door will be opened. You parents—if your children ask for a loaf of bread, do you give them a stone instead? Or if they ask for a fish, do you give them a snake? Of course not! So if you sinful people know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give good gifts to those who ask him.” Matthew 7:7-11
Jesus intentionally puts The Golden Rule right at the culminating point of a passage about deliberate, persistent, hopeful prayer to remind us that, when we pray for others, it should be with the same hopeful intensity we would want them praying for us. We may not be able to meet face to face right now, but we can come together and meet through prayer. We have witnessed the power of uniting in prayer, even in a time of social distancing. I’m thankful for the adults who are currently praying for our students as part of the Pray4Me Campaign. I’m encouraged knowing that prayer can keep us connected during this uncertain time.
“Always be joyful. Never stop praying.” 1 Thessalonians 5:16-17