What actions do your prayers require of you? Weird question, huh? Why would my prayers move me to action? Why wouldn't they move God to action? Think about the question. What action do your prayers require of you?
The goal of prayer is to change our hearts. Of course God still works in supernatural ways and grants prayers that are in line with His will. But He wants to make us more like Him. That requires change. Change requires action. God constantly acts to move us to action. As Matthew West puts it,
“Well, I just couldn’t bear the thought of people living in poverty, children sold into slavery. The thought disgusted me. So, I shook my fist at Heaven Said, “God, why don’t You do something?” He said, “I did, I created you!”
If I pray for God to help me to meet someone’s needs, how is God going to help me when I don’t know the needs of that person? Sure, God could just make a list of their needs and set it on my desk with a step-by-step explanation of how their needs will be met. But God is all about relationships. He wants people to know His love. He would much prefer that I go to that person and ask them what their needs are and let them know I’m praying for them. Then I can pray about the best way to go about meeting those needs.
If I pray for God to help keep someone accountable for staying in His word, how is God going to help that person stay accountable without any volunteers? Again, God is omnipotent, but He wants to use us to minister to others. He loves it when we love others. If it is truly our desire to help this person with accountability, then we had better be asking them questions to hold them accountable. And we ask God to give us wisdom as we do so.
Do you want God to help the lady who lives alone to not feel lonely? Pray that He will help you to make time to visit her or help you to find someone to visit her. Do you want somebody to find a job? Ask them if you can assist them in any way (driving them to an interview, helping with the application). Ask God to help them get the job if it will be a good thing for them.
Prayer is where the natural and supernatural meet. We do what we can to help the person in need, and God guides our spirits through the process, giving us the resources and wisdom to lovingly serve them. The two greatest commandments are to love God and to love others. Prayer is where we work out how to do this. Prayer highlights how God will guide us in the actions He desires us to take.
So, again, I ask you. What actions do your prayers require of you?