“God does nothing but by prayer, and everything with it.”
It is easy for us, in the midst of our busy lives, to think that the things we do are the things that bring change. Whether in our circumstances, or in the lives of others, we are quick to think that our activity is what makes the difference. Of course, there is some truth to this, but real change requires more than just action!
From a Biblical perspective it is prayer which begins change in hearts and situations.
Here are two reasons we pray:
Firstly, in prayer we find our hearts changed. So often we come to God with specific things we want to pray through and find that He changes the agenda while we’re praying. As we are before Him in prayer He gives us faith for things that He wants to do, and He gives us grace to handle the challenges that life brings.
It is an unfortunate reality that many western Christians do not grow in spiritual maturity (and we would define that as having God’s priorities and giving ourselves sacrificially to God’s purposes rather than our own) – because they do not pray. That’s not to put a legalistic heavy on anyone – it’s simply a reality! If I don’t spend time with my wife I will not grow to know her and love her more deeply, I will not understand what is important to her, nor while our lives grow deeper together.
Secondly, in prayer we move God! Even though God is sovereign over all things He delights to partner with us in His purposes in this world. When God told Moses that He would destroy Israel for their lack of faithfulness, Moses interceded for them and God relented!
As the church gathered to pray for Peter, who had been thrown in prison, the doors were opened and an angel led him out. As the church in Jerusalem was beginning to feel persecution they prayed for boldness, and the Holy Spirit shook that place and gave them great boldness. When we pray for the sick we find God healing people.
God delights to answer our prayers. God delights to save people. God delights to catch us up in what he’s doing, and to move in power.
And so, if you really want to make a difference, then take time out from all the doing to pray!
It’ll make a difference to you. You’ll feel closer to God. You’ll find your perspective shifting. You’ll find your faith for particular situations strengthening. You’ll find that you’re increasingly becoming more like Him.
And it’ll make a difference around you! How much can you do on your own? How much more could be accomplished if God is doing the heavy lifting?
Some things to pray for today:
- Your heart – that it would be soft toward God and towards people
- God’s grace to touch the lives of those you connect with regularly but who don’t know Him
- Boldness to speak about Jesus in situations you might shy away from
- God’s help for those who made commitments to Him on Sunday
- Doreen and her family and friends