Prayer is a powerful tool and one that we are reminded to use often – at church, in Scripture and around the dinner table.
But often I think that we use prayer to shield ourselves from difficult action.
Your neighbor is struggling financially. Of course, pray for them. But why not talk to them. Find out their needs, buy them a week of groceries, or pay a bill.
Too close? Too intimate of an action? Exactly.
If you see some in the street with a broken leg, you wouldn’t sit in your car and pray for them. No, rush to offer help! The Good Samaritan didn’t pray for injured traveler, he knelt down and helped. The priest, meanwhile, walked on by, surely praying for that poor guy.
We can thread meaningful prayer throughout our day, but we can also take some time for action. See the needs of those around you (including your family and yourself) and determine what needs to be done and do it. Jesus tells this to the man in Bethesda waiting to be healed.
Don’t whine when something can be done. Don’t wait when you can walk. Don’t use prayer as your crutch or your “Get-Out-Of-Actually-Helping” card.
Prayer is meant to connect to God, to lift up the needs of yourself and others and call for intervention.
But our actions may be God’s answer to someone’s prayer. He is providing for you, but sometimes you are the one he is providing to someone else.
To do anything less than He would have us DO, makes it even harder for His work to get DONE.
“Jesus told him, “Stand up, pick up your mat, and walk!” John 5:8 NLT