I stumbled upon a discussion amongst manly Christian men, the kind who love Wild at Heart and in-your-face preaching by pastors with untucked shirttails, and who harbor visions of standing up to thugs and infidels. They were discussing how best to fight evil in the world. I suggested we all pray without ceasing.

I’m not sure when prayer became associated with cowardly piety, but that’s certainly how some of these men see it. I can understand resentment toward those who offer brief prayers in lieu of physical help to those in need. I’ve also seen large churches forego helping the poor and needy in their very congregations but keep them on the prayer roll at the same time they are sparing no expense on ornate buildings and concerts with big-name Christian bands. Prayer can indeed be nothing more than heartlessness disguised as concern.

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