It’s funny how the simplest of things can blow your mind sometimes. I read a blog a couple days ago about how prayer and work go together. So often in my life I spit out a short prayer and then go on my way. 5 minutes later I’ve already forgotten about it and then when it resurfaces in my mind later I wonder why God hasn’t answered. I do believe God answers every prayer no matter how small, and I do believe that most things in life are so out of our control there’s nothing we can do besides pray and trust God. But I also feel like I use praying as a cop-out alot of the time. It isn’t an excuse to stop working at something or pursuing someone. It scares me how often I’ll pray for someone in my life-that their heart would be healed, that they would come to know Jesus-but it stops there. God has already given me an answer to those prayers-He’s put that person in my life for a reason, He’s letting me of all people show them his love and his grace. I can’t change someone’s heart on my own, and I am called to pray for people, but the awesome thing is is that God invites us to do his work.
Colossians 4:12-13 talks about Epaphras, who “is always wrestling in prayer for you” and “is working hard for you”. See, we pray, and then God allows us to take action. When we sit there and wonder why God isn’t answering our prayers to change someone or change a situation, we have to look and see where and how He’s inviting us to do some work so that He can bring about the ultimate change.
In relation to food, for a loooonnnng time I prayed for freedom, healing, restoration in the midst of my eating disorder. I would pray, but then I would go indulge or I would go get rid of the food. I was asking God to change me, but at the same time I was working against him. Looking back, after all of those spoken and silent prayers, God was inviting me to make a choice. To be obedient to him and make a good choice or to pursue what I thought was right. It wasn’t until I finally chose obedience and began to work with him-making healthy choices, choosing to seek truth, choosing to cut back on exercise, choosing to eat-that I began to live in complete freedom.
Prayer is so great, so necessary. We can’t accomplish anything on our own. But next time, instead of expecting no answer, say a prayer and then wait to see what happens next. See where a door is opened and an invitation is extended to you to do work for the kingdom!