Prayer is good. It’s how we connect with God. But sometimes we Christians use prayer as a copout. How?
It’s our pat answer. Our way out.
Rather than do what scripture says and help someone with a need, we just give a sappy look, pat them on the shoulder and say, “Man, that’s rough. I’ll be praying for you.” Do we ever pray for them? I usually forget.
We sit in a class and talk about reaching out and loving others but do we do it? Nah. We tell people we are praying about it though. That makes us and them feel good.
Do you realize there are things we don’t need to pray about? If scripture clearly says to do something, we have the answer – no prayer necessary.
Don’t believe me? The next time your wife asks you to take out the trash just smile at her, tilt your head and give a little compassionate grin and say, “I’ll tell you what, honey, I’ll pray about that.” That won’t go over real well.
God has given us His Word and it is full of plenty of directives that we don’t need to pray about. He has just told us to do stuff. Love others, spread the Good News, take care of orphans, encourage one another. If I spent my time doing the do’s I doubt I’d have much time to get caught up doing the don’ts.
I need to pray more to change my heart but I don’t need to use a prayer excuse as a way out of what God has told me to do,
“Anyone, then, who knows the good he ought to do and doesn’t do it, sins” James 4:17 (NIV)