The great Swiss theologian Karl Barth said, "To clasp the hands in prayer is the beginning of an uprising against the disorder of the world."
I wish I actually believed that.
Because if I did, I would never unclasp my hands.
I am just being honest here. My heart jumps at the sentiment of Barth's words, but the cynic within me says back, "Yea ... but I have been praying and praying and it appears that the world is only becoming more and more disordered every day."
Anyone else feel the same way?
But what if what Barth is saying is true?
What if the most powerful thing we can do in this whole wide world of ours is to bring our concerns to God in prayer?
What if our meager and half-baked pleas to the Divine somehow make a difference?
What if wrongs can be made right, broken hearts can be made whole, injustice can be made more just through the sheer act of bowing our heads, and asking for these things?
And what if, after we pray those things, God waits for us to get up from our prayers and act?
Act by throwing our shoulder to the plough of God's work in this world - to watch for wrongs we can help make right, broken hearts we can help make whole, injustice we can help eradicate.
What if God waits for us to pray and also waits for us to act?
How might that change the way we approach both?
Maybe, just maybe, we clasp our hands afresh as a great act of uprising ...