Tuesday July 17 2018

God Moves Through Prayer

God has chosen to move through our praying to accomplish things that would not have happened through any other means. As we seek God’s presence, He gives us light for the path ahead and makes His purposes known. 

Many people struggle with spending time in prayer because they believe that God would have them DO something. But scripture shows us in multiple places that praying is doing something. Yet, it’s hard for us to grasp that because we’re conditioned to equate sitting still (in this case, stillness before God) with laziness and inactivity. So when do you pray, and when do you do something about what you’re praying for?

Nehemiah provides a great example of the rhythm of prayer and action in a challenging time. While exiled with the Jewish people in Babylon, Nehemiah hears that the wall of Jerusalem is in ruins. His immediate response is to fast and pray (Neh 1:4). God then gives him direction through the personal interest and response of the Persian King Artaxerxes.

All the while, Nehemiah continues to pray (2:1-6). As the rebuilding begins in Jerusalem, he encounters opposition from Israel’s enemies. Nehemiah immediately gathers the exiles who have returned with him. What does he want them to do together? Pray (4:8-9). God then directs them to divide the people into those who will work on the wall and those who will guard the workers (4:16)

There’s the rhythm: Pray. Wait. Act

Action follows prayer. 

Prayer discovers what action to take.

Prayer and action should never exclude each other. But in the busyness of the world around us, we often live that way and end up living disconnected from our real source of direction and peace. 

Our Daily Bread – 2018