“When we depend upon organizations, we get what organizations can do; when we depend upon education, we get what education can do; when we depend upon man, we get what man can do; but when we depend upon prayer, we get what God can do.” – A.C. Dixon
A seminary professor once told me “prayer is not a supplement to your ministry, prayer is your ministry.” This is a lesson that I am still doing my best to learn but he is absolutely right. Prayer should be the cornerstone of everything that we do in our lives. Why? Because prayer expresses our humble need for God and our desire for His will in whatever situation we are faced with. Also, when we pray we hear from God what our next steps should be according to His infinite wisdom in each situation. Christ followers are to be people who in humility pray without ceasing (1 Thessalonians 5:17) and devoted to prayer (Colossians 4:2). It seems that too many times we are foolishly devoted to other priorities. Remember, Jesus once spent 40 days fasting and praying before He began His earthly ministry. This was His action plan – pray!
Let’s be frank; anything not rooted in prayer is steeped in pride and faithlessness. Anything not rooted in prayer tells the Creator: “I’m good, I’ve got this.” It is pretty obvious in our culture that we are led to believe that we should be self-reliant and self-sustaining. Want or need something? Work hard, plan, execute, and take it! The American business culture in many ways has taken over our personal and corporate Christian faith. Folks, God didn’t design us to rely on our wealth or resources or talents or excellent programming or business structures or wisdom or anything else that we deem necessary to “get the job done.” He created us to rely on Him and Him alone. Please read and reflect on the multiple passages in the Old Testament where God tells His people that He will fight their battles for them. This is still true today. Ponder on Psalm 46:10 where God says to “be still and know that I am God.” This is still God’s desire today. When we pray we live out these truths.
So, what kind of action plan is this? Do nothing and know that He is God and He is in control? Let someone else fight our battles for us? That is certainly not what we are accustomed to or taught these days. It’s not the modern American way! But, It’s one that works – in faith. So here is the question: What’s our action plan? We must take heart in this and this alone; when we pray God listens. This promise is found throughout Scripture. When we pray we get to interact and communicate with THE SOURCE of all wisdom, knowledge, and power. When we pray an all-knowing and loving God directs our steps. Why do we formulate plans that involve anything else? Let’s pray! More next week.