Nearly two years ago I wrote a book on the topic of racial unity called The Third Option. It’s written to help heal the racial divide in our nation; specifically to help individuals look within themselves, identify their own biases, and understand how God wants to change their hearts towards people of all different colors and ethnicities. At the end of each chapter, I offer prayers for the reader to sit with, contemplate, and personalize.
The prayers comprise but a small fraction of the book, and yet, they are one of the most important elements of each chapter. That’s because if any reader seeks to change his or her heart about how they view themselves or others, they will only succeed in doing so through the power of prayer.
Prayer is not an add-on, a supplement, or a box to check. Prayer is the hard drive, the essential component, the fuel for your spiritual tank. Prayer is the first action, the last word, and the centerpiece of our faith. Prayer opens the door to the supernatural so that our very hearts can be transformed.
Prayer is the hard drive, the essential component, the fuel for your spiritual tank.
Jesus knew the essential nature of prayer and slipped away every chance He could to talk to the Father. In fact, reading the Scriptures, it seems that whenever Jesus wasn’t healing or ministering, He was praying. Similarly, Moses, when tasked with leading the Israelites through to the promised land, recognized the power and importance of prayer, and retreated from his people to talk to God regularly. So did King David, who spent years in the wilderness crying out to God, before and during his reign over the nation of Israel.
Modern heroes of our faith have also modeled and emphasized the importance of prayer. When Billy Graham was asked about the most important steps in preparing for an evangelistic outreach, he always answered that there were three things that mattered most: “Prayer, prayer and prayer.” Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., who single-handedly changed our nation’s discourse on race relations, said that “to be a Christian without prayer is no more possible than to be alive without breathing.”’ And Mother Teresa, the greatest humanitarian who ever lived, said, “I used to believe that prayer changes things, but now I know that prayer changes us, and we change things.” All three of these spiritual warriors emphasized prayer as the greatest change agent in their endeavors and the most powerful weapon at our disposal.
Healing our nation’s racial divide - and healing ourselves- is a huge and difficult endeavor. No human effort can achieve such healing in its own right. If we’re going to win this battle, we must tap into God’s power by praying. And if we do, we’re guaranteed to succeed.
We Pray San Diego is a one-day prayer event happening June 20th from 9-10 AM at various locations around San Diego. To join in this prayer movement, sign up at wepraysandiego.com.