He was a friend from years past and had moved away. Now he was back with his bride and we were reconnecting over our dinner table. As we ate, he put his hand to his face and winced. Finally, he explained he had had tooth pain for a few days and it was getting worse. He feared it would take a dentist to make it better and they didn’t have money for that, so he was praying for a cure.
As they readied to leave, my husband and I told him we, too, would pray about his tooth. As we closed the door behind them, looked at each other, both thinking the same thing: What had we just done? We had a brother in need in our home and all we did was offer to pray. We regretted our less-than-God-honoring behavior and in the morning, lined up a dentist to help our friend.
We were brought face-to-face with the truth that God often expects us to do more than pray. James puts it this way, “Suppose a brother or sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to him, ‘Go, I wish you well; keep warm and well fed,’ but does nothing about his physical needs, what good is it?” (James 2:15-16)
I’m a big believer in prayer – there are many things only prayer can do. But, much of the time, praying is not enough. Praying and doing go together in God’s plan for our world. God is teaching me how to do both better.
“If you can’t feed a hundred people, then feed just one.” – Mother Teresa
This brings to mind an odd phrase for which I can’t remember the source. “Pray like a Christian, act like an atheist.” The speaker was trying to get at the idea that atheists can’t hope that God is going to solve the problem for them. Or a navy chaplain’s favorite: “Pray to God but row for shore.”
LikeLiked by 1 person
It always baffles me that God chooses to partner with humans to get his work done, but he does. Love the quotes!
Sometimes God answers your prayers by saying, “Fix that”, “You have the power to fix that”, “It’ll make you grow in faith”. “Go… Do…”
I agree. It seems He wants us to do what we CAN do and leave the things we CANNOT do to Him. And you’re right – it grows our faith!