Do you remember STOP-DROP-ROLL? When Smokey The Bear comes on television and gives a fire safety instruction, you had better pay attention. You never know when you may need to use his STOP-DROP-ROLL method for extinguishing fire that has engulfed your clothing in flames. These words are said repeatedly during an infomercial so that you remember how to react in that situation. In this case of life and death, the right reaction is essential. In other circumstances we do better to be preventive rather than reactive. Prevention practice reduces the possibility of being in the fire in the first place.
We get ourselves in deep trouble when we don’t practice preventative measures. The case for prevention can be found in nearly every industry today whether it be health and wellness or identity theft. But no matter how much we preach prevention, our world today is filled with chain reaction after chain reaction. We are a reactive people and the more advanced we become, it seems the more reactive we become. We usually wait for something to happen before we react no matter how much we have been hearing the cause for prevention.
There are times when we are caught off guard and we react without warning or thinking. Such times would include disasters that happen unawares. For example; the unfortunate chain of random acts of evil starting with 911 up to the Charleston, S.C shooting where nine people were killed at a historic African American church, and recently in Houston Texas “catastrophic flooding has killed seven people, flooded 1,000 homes and caused more than $5 billion in damage.” No one could have predicted these events but could they have been prevented? Quite possibly, YES. We have a great weapon to stopping tragedy in its tracks.
Recently, these harmful incidents have really captured my attention on the importance of Praying before tragedy strikes.
The mass reaction of people promoting, and soliciting prayers for victims via… TV, Twitter and Facebook is indicative of how we are a reactive people and also we become religious only when we are in need. Yet, this also indicates that we recognize in times like these that only God can provide peace through prayer and personal relationship with Him.
Every act and event has a frequency (voice) that speaks, and the common message for the church and the world through these acts of evil is we need to be engaged in what I call “pro-active prayer”. Those acts I mentioned earlier were not sporadic. For the perpetrator, these violent occurrences didn’t just appear out of the blue. They were strategically planned and carried out after days, months, or years of planning, and some came as a result of change in time. But to the rest of the world, the witnesses and the victims, these events were unexpected and sudden.
Prayer has become something tucked away until tragedy strikes. But that is to be expected from a religious culture of routines and rituals void of spiritual relationship. For Disciples of Jesus, prayer is a tool, a weapon, and communication between us and God.
If we really believe prayer is the antidote that will ease the hurt, pain and hardship inflicted by evil, why wait until evil or disaster strike first to call on God in prayer. Let’s flip the scrip, get off the defense, and stop being reactive and strike evil with pro-active prayer. Let our defense be secondary as we charge (spearhead) the gates of hell with pro-active prayer proceeding from a healthy relationship with God.
I charge you to STOP, DROP and PRAY every single day. Let’s pray over our house-hold, the local schools our children attend, pray over the community and neighborhood you live in, pray for your leaders, and pray for yourself …..(not necessarily in this order).
Do you think that people have become more reactive lately. Have you witnessed the power of prayer in dismissing a potential threat in your life? Please share in the comments below.