Daily Devotional for Wednesday December 13, 2006
Prayer Requires Action
(1 Chronicles 16:11; Matthew 7:7; Mark 11:24)
"Look to the LORD and his strength; seek his face always." (1 Chronicles 16:11)
"Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you." (Matthew 7:7)
"Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours." (Mark 11:24)
Today, I want to help you with a simple but powerful truth that could revolutionize your prayer life. So much of the time we treat our prayer life like we are rubbing a magical lamp and asking the genie inside for our wishes to be granted. Even mature Believers often fall into the trap of treating God like some kind of cosmic concierge who is there at our beck and call to fulfill our every whim and desire. The truth that I want to share with you today is that prayer requires action on our part.
When we pray, we are demonstrating our dependence upon God. We are saying to God that "we need you," that "without you we can do nothing." Prayer is also an act of faith. What is the use in praying unless you have faith there is a God who hears you and faith there is a God who can help you? So when we pray we not only demonstrate our dependence upon God, but also our faith in God.
The key moment comes AFTER we have prayed. What do we do then? This is the critical point where many Believers fail. Prayer requires action on our part. Too many who pray, fail to follow up their prayers with ACTION! They pray and seek God for a need in their life, finish praying, and then sit back waiting for God to meet their need. Is God able? Of course, He is God! However, never forget that we pray out of faith, and true Biblical faith requires ACTION!
If you are praying for God to heal your body, pray, but then ACT! Go see the doctors and specialists that are out there to help you heal. Go research what your health issue is and find the best people possible to help bring complete and total healing to your body. God heals in many ways and by far the most common way God heals is through human instruments called doctors. So if you need healing, pray, ask God to heal you, and then put your faith into action and do all you can in seeing your body healed.
If you are praying for God to meet your financial needs, pray, but then ACT! Seek out successful men and women and get their wise counsel. Sit down and put a game plan together to help you meet your financial needs and achieve your financial goals. God can provide for us in many ways, but His most common form of provision is through our hard work. So if you have financial needs, pray, ask God to provide for you, then put your faith into action and do all you can to see that your financial needs are met.
If you are praying for your marriage or for a relationship, pray, but then ACT! Seek out Godly counsel from your pastor or some other qualified Christian counselor. Get away with your spouse or the person you are in a relationship with and spend quality time openly and honestly communicating with each other. The root cause of every marital and relationship problem I have seen in over 17 years of ministry stems from a lack of pure, honest, and open communication. So if you have a problem with your marriage or a relationship, pray, ask God to bring healing and restoration to your marriage or relationship, then put your faith into action and do all you can to have a healthy marriage or relationship.
Never forget that it is God who is the One who will heal you, provide for you, restore your marriage or relationship, but God uses our faith in action. Prayer is not a passive exercise but an active one! We are active participants in God answering our prayers. It requires action on our part. It is God who is answering our prayers, but our faith requires us to be involved in that process. Just as James wrote to Believers that "faith without works is dead," I tell you today that PRAYER WITHOUT ACTION IS POWERLESS!!!
I love you and care about you so much. Most people are far too passive in their prayer life. They pray and then sit back waiting for God to answer. No doubt there are some things we pray about that are completely out of our control and we must simply trust God to move on those needs. But much of what we pray about we have the ability to put action to our prayers. It is still God who is answering our prayers, but He is working through our actions.
It needs to be stressed again, we are not just praying out of dependence upon God, but out of FAITH in God. True Biblical faith requires ACTION on our part. If you really believe something, you will live it. If we truly believe God will heal us, or provide for our needs, or heal our marriage or relationship, or whatever the need may be, we will be active participants in seeing our prayers answered. God honors our faith. God is moved by our faith. God blesses our faith. We pray in faith, therefore, our prayers require action!!!