We live in some difficult times. More and more people are speaking out in opposition and resistance. Singer, songwriter, musician and R&B crooner Miles Jaye is one of those folks using his words to bring attention to the challenging times we all face.

Please read his article below:

“One Prayer vs. One Vote” by Miles Jaye
In “The Accountant,” a 2016 Ben Affleck film, Ben’s dad offers his boys this advice regarding bullies, “You think if you don’t fight back, then maybe they’ll like you… stop picking on you, calling you freak? Now, here’s what it is… they don’t like you, they don’t dislike you—they’re afraid of you… you’re different. Sooner or later, different scares people.” He goes on to challenge them, “Victim or not, make a decision.”

My previous entry, “For Whom Shall I Pray?” generated a bit of controversy surrounding the notion of praying for such a divisive President. In this post-Obama, post-racial, climate, race continues to be a hotbed issue in America, and to say the current President has done more than his part to exacerbate the issue of race, would be a gross understatement. The core issue– we’re different. “It’s not that we’re not liked or disliked, they (whoever “they” are) fear us because we’re different.”

The question is, will we allow ourselves to be victims of tyranny? (cruel and oppressive government, power or policy). We must make a decision. If we choose to fight back, what is our strategy and what’s in our arsenal? David used a slingshot and a stone in his stand against Goliath.

Long before the Emancipation Proclamation, prayer was the weapon of choice of the Black community and long before the Voting Rights Act of 1965, prayer was the weapon of choice. Throughout the Civil Rights movement, the weapon of choice– prayer. Without prayer, a protest march would have just been a walk down the road. Without prayer, a Sit-in would have just been sitting in. The transformational power was not in the act of Civil Disobedience, but in the power of prayer. Martin and Malcolm both prayed.

Today, I hear rumblings of, “get off your knees and vote, as though prayer is a passive gesture of the weak and powerless– a waste of time. Nothing could be further from the truth. James 5:16 says, “The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.” A mother knows the importance of instructing her young son on proper street etiquette to avoid harm at the hands of law enforcement officials, but don’t
think for a moment that she’s not praying for his safety. A mother knows it’s not one or the other.

The Democratic process is corrupted by voter fraud, registration fraud, election fraud and now by cyberattacks from foreign governments. The current President won the 2016 election with a deficit of 3 million popular votes. George W’s second term victory relied on questionable Supreme Court intervention, yet I’ve never heard of Prayer Fraud and a prayer can’t be hacked. Prayer does not require registration, Prayer Rights laws or party affiliation. Prayer does not require a Concealed Weapon Permit.

Kneeling has power! Kneeling power may be why the sight of NFL players on their knees was so frightening to some. Prayer is intimidating! In a nation where spirituality has always played a role, it’s ironic that we’ve moved to end school prayer and remove all signs and symbols of religion, including holidays such as Christmas and Hanukkah, from government buildings, yet we still use the Bible for oaths and inaugurations. “One nation under God” remains in the Pledge of Allegiance, “In God We Trust” remains on our currency, and our Justice System is still predicated on Mosaic Law.

God, religion, spirituality and prayer have always played a major role in America culture and tradition. Thomas Jefferson and the framers of the Constitution made no mention of Separation of Church and State in the original draft of the Constitution, that didn’t come until the First Amendment which stated, “Congress shall pass no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.” Freedom from religious persecution was a major factor in founding of America.

The spirituality of the African in America took quite a different course than that of the European as Africans did not immigrate to America to escape religious persecution. African spirituality was ripped apart from its native languages and traditional practices, but it survived in new contexts and settings. Over centuries it adapted and transformed into what we recognize as modern religion and its various denominations,flawed and imperfect, as they may be, but still potent and relevant. All faiths agree “Prayer changes things.”

So, by all means, and by any means necessary, vote, and not just in Presidential elections, but School Board and City Council and Judges and Sheriffs. Take your children with you when you vote so they can witness the process of government. Your vote in the upcoming mid-term elections is crucial. Just remember, if we don’t stay on our knees, we don’t have a prayer!

MJ w Jacket and Guitar - BW“One Prayer vs. One Vote” by Miles Jaye

Miles is currently working on new music due to be released this summer.