Sep 242013 1 Response

Live Your Prayer

If your child wants to become a surgeon, do you tell them to pray and expect to one day wake up with the ability to do surgery?

If you want to become skilled at a new sport, do you pray with the expectation that at your first attempt you will be a professional?

The morning your child turns 16, do your pay that they will be a good driver and then hand them the keys?

The answer to all three questions is obviously ‘no.’ If your child wants to become a surgeon, you send them to school. If you want to learn a new sport, you take lessons. And before your child turns 16, you spend many days holding to the passenger seat for your dear life as you are teaching them to drive.

“God make me a surgeon,” is a wonderful prayer but it is only sincere as the person is also in medical school.

Prayer is only real if you live your prayer.

Yet every day, I interact with people who are not living their prayer.

I ask, “what is one thing you are praying for?”

The say:

  • “I’m praying for a spouse.”
  • “I’m praying to get out of debt.”
  • “I’m praying to stop this addiction.”
  • “I’m praying for my marriage.”

Nearly every thing a person is praying for is a good thing which would honor God and be good for others.

Yet I often follow up the question with another question—”what are you doing in regards to that prayer?”

The normal response is a blank stare.

It fascinates me how many people want a spouse, but they never ask someone out on a date.

It saddens me how many people want a better marriage, but they never seek counseling.

It’s almost comical how many people want to stop a behavior or start a new one, but they have no action steps to make it happen.

The truth is, they aren’t praying; they are wishing.

They are wanting things to magically appear, but God is not a God of magic. While he can do as he wishes, he rarely forces his way upon people. He far more often places desires within our hearts and then empowers us to experience the fulfillment of those desires.

Consider Jesus.

  • He taught us to pray “Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven,” but then he charged us to live by his will.
  • He taught us to pray “Give us this day our daily bread,” but then the empowered the writer of the epistle to warn “If you don’t work, you don’t eat.”
  • He taught us to pray “Forgive us our debts,” but followed that up with “As we forgive our debtors.”
  • He prayed, “Your will be done” and then went and did the will of his Father.

A clear precept seems to emerge—live your prayer.

It’s not a matter of making things happen, but it is a matter of operating in a climate in which God can move. If you are praying for a husband, but never place yourself in a situation to meet anyone, how do you want God to answer your prayer? Do you expect a man to be gift wrapped and delivered via UPS? If you are praying to stop a bad habit but aren’t willing to admit you have a problem, how do you expect God to answer your prayer? If you pray for a deeper relationship with God, but never make an attempt to learn more about the Bible, how do you think God will move?

A true prayer is one in which I am praying my desire to God, expecting him to answer, and am acting in a way in which he can do what I’m asking.

What are you praying?

Are you living your prayer?

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One Response to Live Your Prayer
  1. […] Action. One of my favorite sayings when it comes to prayer is “live your prayer.” Whene... kevinathompson.com/why-you-should-pray-for-your-spouse

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