WHEN NOT TO PRAY
Prayer is the solution to everything. No matter what you should pray. Pray. Pray. Pray. No doubt prayer is one of our greatest privileges and weapons. But do you know there is a time in the Bible when God said, “Don’t pray – take action!” “Then the Lord said to Moses, “Why are you crying out to me? Tell the Israelites to move on” (Exodus 14:15).
On their way out of Egypt, with the Egyptian army in pursuit, the Israelites led by Moses ran into an unsurmountable obstacle – the Red Sea. So what did they do? They stopped to pray. Who could fault that? Evidently God did!
God told Moses, “Raise your staff and stretch out your hand over the sea to divide the water so that the Israelites can go through the sea on dry ground” (Exodus 14:16). Clearly there is a time to stop praying and start doing! There’s a place for the spiritual, and there’s a place for the practical.
Of course it takes balance between the two, but could it be we keep praying instead of doing because it’s easier to pray and expect God to do the work for us? What could Moses have done when trapped? God gave instructions to start moving! He told Moses to lift the staff and the waters would separate. But they had to start moving and not wait. That’s the same lesson God taught Joshua 40 years later when the next generation was crossing the Jordan to go into the Promised Land (Joshua 3:14-17).
Are you praying, “Lord, heal my marriage” and patiently waiting for your mate to change? It’s time to start being the husband or wife God wants you to be, no matter how your mate responds. Show unconditional love, just like Jesus does for you.
Perhaps you are asking God to remove a trial or obstacle in your life but circumstances aren’t changing. Get started doing what you as a Christian should do and let God take care of the rest. Maybe you aren’t getting along with a friend or relative, or there are problems at work, or you are waiting for God to heal your body or provide needed finances. Prayer is important, but don’t stop there. Get to work living life and doing what you can.
Nehemiah prayed for protection against their enemies, but everyone kept working while carrying weapons (Nehemiah 4:16-18). There’s a place for the practical, and there’s a place for the spiritual. They both work hand in hand.
James 2:14-26 What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save them? … Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by my deeds. … As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead.
Ask God to show you if there is a situation you are praying about when He wants you to move ahead against it instead. Commit to action, being sensitive to how He would “part the waters” to help you through to the other side.