Prayer Demands Action
For many years now we have prayed together, and it has been wonderful. But recently, I’ve found myself drawn to the idea that we are supposed to be the answers to these prayers. God must do it by his power, certainly, but we are not to be idle in the realization of the things we ask for.
It think specifically of revival. If we pray for revival, yet never talk to others about Jesus, where do we think they will hear? Or if we pray for harvest workers, yet do not ourselves go out into the fields, what are we expecting to happen?
When we pray for revival or for workers in the harvest fields, we are praying for people to go with us. This is far different than praying for people that will go instead of us. We pray for more help because the harvest is so great that we could never do it on our own. Certainly, God must do the work. I am not advocating that we strive to work our way to salvation. Far from it. It is because we have been given so great a gift and because our love for Jesus is growing that we must act.
As we pray, our hearts are made more like Jesus’. I am more like Jesus and I am more in love with Jesus now than I was last year or even 6 months ago, and that’s how it should be. This love demands expression. Jesus is the prime example of one who spent significant and frequent time in prayer. He often withdrew to the secret place to be alone with his Father. However, he did not stay hidden. These times sustained and empowered him to minister to the people he loved. Prayer, if we are honest, will eventually require action.
Allow me to give one final disclaimer to everything I have written. Some will inevitably say that we must be still in prayer, and I wholeheartedly agree. This is often the action that is required of us, to do nothing and simply wait on God. However, all of us, without exception, will at some point be called to go. Jesus is making us more like him. Jesus is making us fishers of men.