Just Pray

Peace with Justice Sunday

June 7, 2020

Has anyone ever told you to “just pray”?

Telling someone who is voicing a grievance about suffering or injustice to go away and “just pray” misses the point of prayer and Christian spirituality. Crying out to seek empathy, solidarity, help, and change is the very essence of prayer. Repentance, conversion, and solidarity are central to Christian spirituality.

It is hardly an expression of godliness to tell those who are grieving that Jesus cares more to hear their grievance than you do. It is even less loving to invoke the language or symbols of faith to suggest God has preordained their injustice or suffering as part of some larger, more important plan.

Perhaps this has happened to you. Someone has said, “just pray.” 

If and when it does happen, invite that person to join you, not to “just pray,” but rather to fast and pray, and this for several days, until that person feels the pangs of scarcity and hunger and begins to understand how serious matters really are.

Indeed, our calling is not to shut up and “just pray.” It is to pray justice, from God and from ourselves, our neighbors, and from those in privilege and authority. As we outwardly call and pray for justice, we must also practice what we pray, repenting of sin and being converted to genuine kindred love and solidarity, doing our part to lay a foundation for lasting reconciliation and peace.

This Sunday is Peace with Justice Sunday. 

Don’t just pray. Pray justice, and stand with others who doing the same.

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