I had an amazing experience the other day. If a miracle is a direct intervention of God in the ordinary course of events, that’s just what it was. Maybe not the biggest miracle you could think of, but still a miracle.
I was praying and fasting. In mid-afternoon, I was sitting in the car by the bay asking God to resolve a specific situation. In mid-prayer, my phone buzzed. When I saw who it was from, I checked it only to discover the message was that my prayer had been answered.
Well, that set me off praying about a few other things too! I was encouraged, to say the least.
All that sounds great, and makes me look good as well. But the truth is I had spent far more time worrying about the situation in the previous days than I had spent praying about it.
I’m going to make a bold and sweeping statement. Prayer is by far the most productive thing anyone can do. Our entire lives are blighted by inefficiency and failure to reach goals simply because we worry, fret, manipulate or manage our circumstances as best we can. We do everything except pray.
Do you want to make an investment into your life? Pray.
And remember this: prayer does not just affect “spiritual” matters. Prayer is the answer to everything, including your job situation and financial well-being.
If you have a problem in your life, no matter what the nature of the problem is, prayer is by far the most productive thing you can do about it.
Jesus made the following statement (John 14:13): “Whatever you ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.” Let me give you a very quick exegesis (interpretation) of this verse. Whatever covers absolutely everything in life. Nothing is outside the appropriate realm of prayer. You ask refers to our responsibility. You don’t have, because you don’t ask. We do a lot, but we ask little, then we complain about the lack of results. In my name means we belong to him. If your house is in your name, it belongs to you. We ask as those belonging to Jesus and seeking his will, not ours. When we pray in line with his will, he hears us and he will answer (1 John 5:14-15). That the Father may be glorified in the Son lets us in on a secret. The immediate goal of prayer may be to have our needs met, but the ultimate goal of prayer is the glory of God. That’s what our lives are to be lived for.
We live in a society focussed on action. To get something, we have to do something. We think of prayer as something in the spiritual or mental realm, and subconsciously bump it way down our list of possible options to resolve the situations we face.
How wrong we are! Prayer is an action. It is the most decisive action any of us can take. It taps our lives straight into the power source that created the world in which we live.
Maybe it would help us to think of prayer as an investment. We invest time, hard work and money to gain goals in life.
In truth, investing in prayer is a far better way of achieving those goals. It releases the power of God into our lives to clear out our wrong goals and priorities, and it lines us up instead with his will. God is not committed to any agenda we put forward, but he is totally devoted to one thing: “I am watching over my Word to perform it” (Jeremiah 1:12).
I wasted way too much time worrying, but when I got serious about praying, something happened.
Who knows, it might work for you too.