Intersections: People. Prayer. Politics.
I have been somewhat quiet as I think about the world in which we live today. As Christians, I recognize that we are in this world, but not of this world. Yet, I also realize that God has us here for a reason. I have been processing ways to evangelize and disciple in this season amid the current worldwide pandemic, economic downfall, political division, and ongoing racial tension.
As I continue to sit at the intersection of people, prayer, and politics, I am reminded that I am not in charge, but God is. He calls me for such a time as this to serve people by encouraging everyone I come into contact with through blogging, posting on social media, writing and responding to emails, or through producing videos and engaging very personal one-on-one conversations. God allows me the opportunity to come before Him in spirit and in truth to pray and to intercede on behalf of other warriors by lifting their prayer requests, to worship as I call out Abba Father how excellent is Your Name, and through humble petitions for the Lord to hear our prayers. God has granted me space to research and to study the political landscape. Over the last couple of decades, I have had a longing to educate voters and to encourage people who have not registered to vote to exercise their right and responsibility and to be engaged in local politics. The truth is that everything is political, for we are always negotiating and stewarding power and resources. Both the Old and the New Testaments of scripture make room for God’s people to be involved in issues related to the common good, to healthy community, and to justice for all. I can’t escape the sense that God has given me permission and grace to be a voice in the midst of the disparities I experience as a Christian Black woman.
With these considerations, I find myself leaning into fresh ways of evangelism and discipleship primarily by uplifting women and girls. Through small group virtual gatherings utilizing social media and Sunday Morning YouTube teachings of no more than fifteen minutes, I am responding to the Lord’s call. The short videos are designed with the understanding that people are overwhelmed with life and a desire greater margin and balance. My goal is to offer short motivational talks that include prayer and brief instruction along with a call to action so that we can continue the journey in what appears to be an extremely difficult season for so many.
During this coronavirus pandemic, entrepreneurs and small business owners are struggling or closing their doors. Larger corporations are likewise faced with the challenges nobody could have predicted. For this post, I want to speak specifically to those of us who are dealing with contracts being canceled, staff development and workshop opportunities being withdrawn, and companies exercising extreme caution with supportive services spending that may not be considered priority during these troubling times.
The last time I published a blog post was immediately following the murder of George Floyd. I shared how I feel as a Black woman, a wife, and a mother to my Black husband and my Black son. I shared the struggles I face knowing my Black father, nephews, brother-in-law, and male family friends could be at any moment pulled over by police, attacked while walking down the streets, harassed on the job, and even killed because of the color of their skin.
Tensions are rising. Partisan politics are increasingly divisive, with the right screaming at whoever is on the left and the left disparaging anybody who is on the right, while in the middle there is still more and more unhealthy and destructive rhetoric. The stress created by never-ending and negative conversations have ordinary people yelling at and over each other with unhelpful soundbites. Racial animosity is at an all-time high compared to the unrest of the ’60s. People are mobilizing and peacefully protesting. Others who are against the movement are doing so with ill intentions. Gun purchases are soaring. Karens, Kens, and Karls are becoming household names for white women and men who are contented to find any reason to harass Black and Brown people by manufacturing incidents and then exploiting the police as enforcers.
I’m concerned that our eyes appear to be too focused on the distractions, when we really must fix our eyes on Jesus, the Author and the Finisher of our faith. We are in the middle of an unusual shifting, and we must reach back to every Scripture and hymn that reminds us that Jesus is Lord.
Do not be distracted by the nay-sayers. They are on their post to discourage us. It’s time to be the Harriet Tubman of our time and implement a strategic plan of action regardless of those who may be against us, and even as we march forward to lift every voice and sing, let us march on.
Individuals who may have once been afraid or may have been operating in the seats of silence are now raising their voices and taking a stand. Even in this environment and with this shifting paradigm one must exercise godly wisdom and invest deeply in prayer in order to hear the voice of God. God is speaking. The question is, “How will you respond?” I believe that Jesus is applauding us for raising our voices and taking a stand.
I admit that I am tired. I’m downright exhausted. But I cannot stop my forward motion. “I look up to the mountains; does my strength come from mountains? No, my strength comes from God, who made heaven, and earth, and mountains.” [Psalm 121:1-2 The Message] As we are in the fight, we must tap into God’s power and wisdom and also practice self-care. Know when to step back and get refueled. Someone else will step in and continue the forward motion. Remember, we are in this together.
Join me on Sunday mornings at 7:00 am eastern on my YouTube channel. During the month of July, we are working through the book Ready to Pray: A Spiritual Journey of Prayer and Worship. www.YouTube.com/GailDudley, while you are there, subscribe to my YouTube channel and give the videos a thumbs up.
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Listen, this is now my life work. I am writing full-time along with serving as an advocate currently working on voter education, civic engagement, and justice issues for women and girls. If you are led, please click the PayPal link on the right-side bar and sow a seed of blessing. I would be forever grateful.