Do Something

By Ruth Bell Graham   •   June 3, 2013   •   Topics: ,

There are times, I have found, when praying is not enough. God says, as it were, “What are you praying for? Do something!”

Moses, hotly pursued by Pharaoh, cried out to God, who replied, “Wherefore criest thou unto me? Speak unto the children of Israel, that they go forward” (Exodus 14:15, KJV).

After Israel’s ignominious defeat at Ai, the desperate Joshua prostrated himself in prayer before the Lord, only to hear Him say, “Wherefore liest thou thus upon thy face? Israel hath sinned” (Joshua 7:10-11, KJV).

If our hearts are listening as we pray, we will from time to time hear, “What are you praying for? Do something!” And we will know what it is we must do. There will be a wrong to put right, a sin to confess, a letter to write, a friend to visit or a child to be rocked and read to.

C.S. Lewis suggested that as we pray, Christ stands beside us changing us. “You may realize that,” he wrote, “instead of saying your prayers, you ought to be downstairs writing a letter, or helping your wife wash up. Well, go and do it.” And again, “I am often, I believe, praying for others when I should be doing things for them. It’s so much easier to pray for a bore than to go and see him.”

And so it is with us. We must be quick to pray, and just as quick to obey.

Taken by permission from “Growing in Prayer,” by Ruth Bell Graham, Decision magazine, May 1974, ©1974 The Ruth Graham Literary Trust.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published but you will receive our next BGEA ministry update. You can opt out of future emails at any time.


  1. Anita says:

    Ruth's sweet and profound lessons have brought much joy and insight into my normal day. She was indeed a remarkable woman of God, and her loving nature- both strong and gentle- has given me a desire to live each day knowing that'this too shall pass'.

  2. Denise says:

    I echo a comment by the above participant that I too look forward to meeting Ruth in Heaven. Her writings reflect her intimate relationship with our Lord her clear understanding of His Word.

  3. Magdalene says:

    Use our hands to pray as well as to act on what God wants us to do.

  4. Patti says:

    Thank you for reminding me that my prayers in doing will complete the task for the answer is always coming as I begin to move in the right direction.Ruth Grahams writings have always been such an inspiration for me.thanks for sharing this;]

  5. Tawanda says:

    Pray, trust and I found the “do something” means keep moving to allow God to reveal his plan. King Jesus is so awesome!

  6. Noel and Ana says:

    I'm happy reading this because God is giving as so much peace. because now we will obey Him after we pray He open a door for us to go in mission..

  7. Brady says:

    Thank you Jesus for the power of prayer.

  8. Jack says says:

    Since I have retired, 2 years ago, I ask God if he wanted me to preach the Gospel of his Son Jesus Christ, Many doors opened, Prisons, Local Mission, Retirement and Nursing Homes, Elementary School Children, Equally about 9 times per. Mo. I Thank God

  9. Mardi says:

    One of my greatest desires is to be introduced to Ruth Bell Graham in heaven so I can tell her how much her writings have meant to me. Her Bible based advise is a tribute to her close relationship to Christ and an inspiring open door for us!

  10. Barbara says:

    I have found this to be true for me as well, that when i am praying for something, I feel that I need to begin doing something as well as praying for it. I appreciate this reminder that we are not to just sit/kneel and pray.