We have all been in situations where we’ve exhausted every avenue to change the outcome or redirect the path. Most of the time it’s primarily in our own strength. We may have even watched someone we love struggle endlessly, despite our best efforts to help. Over time, our hope diminishes and many times lives begin to fracture. It’s at those times we find ourselves feeling at the end of the rope. Then, out of sheer weariness and desperation we often find ourselves saying, “all I can do now is pray.”
Why do we seek God’s hand through prayer more often when things start to spin out of control? And more so, why do we tend to see prayer as the eventual answer to our dilemma and not our first approach? It’s as if we say, “okay God, I’ve done all I can do, now it’s your turn.”
I can remember a season in my life when circumstances seemed to have no real glimmer of hope. I had tried everything in my power to change the situation but things seemed to remain the same. Over time, weariness and defeat set in. I was talking with a dear sweet woman I had met several years ago at a women’s event. As I was sharing some of the details of the situation, I have to admit that I found myself closing the conversation with, “well, all I can do is pray.” This sweet woman grabbed my hands, looked me in the eyes and said, “honey, prayer is not the only thing you can do, it’s everything you can do!”
How I needed to hear those words! Prayer is everything we can do! I need for you to hear it again, “prayer is everything I can do, and prayer is everything you can do!” It’s not our last resort, it’s our first line of defense. Doesn’t that excite you? It does me. Prayer is our lifeline with the One who knows everything we are going through and knows exactly how it will all play out. Prayer should be our special time with alone with God. A time where the Holy Spirit ministers to us in a way that no one or anything else can. Scripture tells us that we are to pray for all things and believe God for every outcome. We don’t have to understand why things work out the way they do, that’s up to God. We do have to trust and have faith that His ways are better than our ways and He is always working things out for the good.
The next time you find yourself or someone you love in a season of trials, make sure you have the attitude that “prayer is everything you can do!” This posture of prayer will change the way you look at the power of prayer, and intensify your relationship with Jesus. What a blessing that prayer IS everything we can do!
Father, thank you that you hear our prayers. Thank you, Jesus, that you don’t tell us to go figure things on our own and then come to you when we have nothing left. We ask Your forgiveness for the times that we do that very thing. Help us to be mindful that You allow us, and bid us to come sit and talk with You so that You might be glorified in all of our circumstances.
“I call on you, my God, for you will answer me; turn your ear to me and hear my prayer.” Psalm 17:6
Additional reading – Mark 11:24, Romans 8:28-29, John 15:4
Denise Matthews © 2017