Articles & Devotionals
The Working Side of Prayer
David says in Psalm 61:2, “From the end of the earth I call to Thee, when my heart is faint; Lead me to the rock that is higher than I.” What’s so striking to me about this verse is that climbing is involved to reach the higher rock. David doesn’t ask God to put him on the rock but lead him to the Rock. Many times in our life of prayer, we pray and then sit back and wait for God to act. If we are not careful, we can take the easy way and expect God to put forth all the effort. While we are to wait on God, Scripture shows us that we still have a part in the answer to prayers.
In walking with God there is always the expectation that we must do what we are able to do and God will supply the rest. When Israel was going into the promised land, God gave the assurance that He would be with them and grant them deliverance from their enemies in Canaan. However, the priests had to exercise their abilities; they had to first step into the Jordan River before God separated the waters of the Jordan (Josh.3:14-16). We see that the same is true with David (1Sam.17). To bring about a great victory over Goliath and the Philistines, God used David and what he could do. David still had to pick up the five smooth stones, go out onto the battlefield, and sling the stone at Goliath before God would bring down the mighty giant. In so many examples we see God working miraculously but through the efforts of His people.
The same is true with us today. We must realize that we are an active part rather than a passive part in God answering prayers. Ephesians 3:20 says, “Now to Him who is able to do exceeding abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us.” God’s great unlimited power works, but it works through us, which means we become the limiting factor. God may be ready to display His power in great ways, but if we take the passive approach in praying, we can hinder that power. It requires greater faith to pray and be active rather than passive. It’s easy to sit on the sidelines and wait for God to do all the work. However, our life of prayer reflects maturity when we get up off our knees and work in the midst of difficulties and adversity all the while knowing that God is working with us and for us. This is the working side of prayer.
As you pray this week ask God to answer your prayers but seek to be an active part of the answer and a conduit for the glory of God in this life.