In adversity, prayer is never a poor substitute for action. It is action.
Posted in , Nov 13, 2014
When I was a young boy, my parents taught me how to face adversity, overcome challenges and rise up from poverty and conflict. Their answer was always the same, the message clear: "Pray!!!”
I thank God that my parents demonstrated their faith in our home. Taking action on their knees showed me the value of the greatest resource available to us–prayer. It didn’t matter what the situation was. When we were short of cash to meet our needs, they turned to God knowing He would supply all our needs from his glorious riches.
There wasn’t a childhood sickness that prayer couldn’t address. Did we go to the doctor? Yes, but we also prayed. There wasn’t an issue that was too small, big or powerful that God couldn’t handle.
In my experience there has yet to be any obstacle or challenge presented that God has not helped me handle. Prayer is the greatest power available to me. Yet, the natural instinct is to take action other than prayer.
In the midst of adversity praying can feel futile or a waste of time to those who are action driven. It can be hard to suppress feelings that prayer is not enough. But isn’t prayer, in fact, an action? It is an act of faith, trust and dependence upon the Lord.
Chaplain John Owen in the Guideposts Outreach booklet, Mission Ready: Preparing to Fight the Good Fight writes:
“It is easy to feel helpless in the face of life’s difficulties and adversity. Our instinct is to take action, and prayer can feel like a poor substitute for action. Sometimes praying is all that we can do. But it is always what we must do.”
Father, let prayer be the first action we take when faced with adversity. Help us to actively seek your will and trust you with our deepest struggles, as we run into your presence on our knees.