What can we learn from an ancient prophet? Find out here.
On average, there are 1,600,000 babies that are aborted in the United States each year; that's 3 per minute!! There is an average of 16,121 homicides each year in the U.S. alone. In 2013, there were 9,795,658 crimes that had been committed worldwide. When we look at the world around us, we see crime and hate; we see people sinning right and left. When you see those people sinning, what do you think? Do you think, "Oh, they need Jesus" and proceed to keep walking without trying to help them find Him? Do you just keep walking and not think anything of it?
In Ezra chapter 9 and 10, the Israelites had intermarried with pagans; which was something that God told them not to do. When Ezra had heard what the Israelites had done, he tore his clothes, pulled out his hair, and sat down astonished (Ezra 9:3). Ezra mourned for the sin of his people. "I fell on my knees and spread out my hands to the Lord my God. And I said: 'O my God, I am too ashamed and humiliated to lift up my face to You, my God; for our iniquities have risen higher than our heads, and our guilt has grown up to the heavens." (Ezra 9:5-6). We should be ashamed of the sin going on around us as Ezra was.
Now that we know that we should be ashamed of other's sins as well as our own, we need to ask ourselves, "What can I do about it?". "Now while Ezra was praying and while he was confessing, weeping, and bowing down before the house of God, a very large assembly of men, women, and children gathered to him from Israel; for the people wept very bitterly" (Ezra 10:1). Ezra sincerely prayed to God. We all can pray! "The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much" (James 5:16). Imagine how much we could change the world (with God's help) if every single Christian prayed for the same thing (if it is pleasing to God). We could potentially make the world a better place by praying to God about it.
When we pray, we can't just pray once and hope that it will work. Ezra 10:13 states, "...Nor is this the work of one or two days, for there are many of us who have transgressed in this matter." To correct the transgressions of the world, we have to be patient and keep pressing on. Don't get discouraged if you don't see changes right away; people don't change overnight. It could take years before we even see the results of our praying because there are so many people who are doing wrong. So keep praying! Be patient! Don't give up! You're not alone!
By: Jennifer Odom
My name is Jennifer Odom and I've been a Christian since October 2011. I'm an 18-year-old sophomore at Freed-Hardeman University. I like reading, crocheting, and Bible journaling. My favorite verse is Philippians 1:21. I write for Tomorrow's Church, Today and am the editor for Beyond the Foam. I hope to speak at several ladies days, become a music teacher, get involved with mission work, and bring as many people as I can with me to heaven. Stepping in Light is affiliated with the church of Christ.