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.