Stop Praying. Start Doing
Sounds counter intuitive doesn't it? We are told so many times in Scripture to pray, that to say, “Stop Praying”, sounds wrong.
1 Thessalonians 5:17 “Pray without ceasing”
Luke 21:36 “Watch ye therefore, and pray always....”
Colossians 4:2 “Continue in prayer, and watch in the same with thanksgiving”
We see in the Bible, that God gives us clear instruction regarding prayer and emphasises the importance of it. Why then, or when, should we STOP praying?
In some reading I was doing this morning, the importance of times we need to stop praying, was brought to my attention along with this example.
“Imagine telling your children to go clean their messy rooms. Two hours later you walk in and see them sitting on the floor, praying for God to reveal His will about whether they should begin”
Lofty prayers, but no submission. No obedience.
How often is this the case with our prayers? Prayer is clearly NOT what they needed to be doing in this instance. Obedience was.
This example sounds silly I know, but strangely enough, that's how we often handle prayer. We hide behind it. We hope it will cover for our disobedience in other areas that are harder to do than just praying. God keeps telling us the things we need to do, and we just keep 'praying about it' with no steps of action. There comes a time when God has revealed His will, and we need to stop praying, get up and DO His will.
In John 14:15, God says, “If ye love me, keep my commandments”
If our prayers are coming from a rebellious heart, and we are not following Him with faith and submission while claiming to love Him, we are hypocrites. Playing a part. An actor on a stage. Lukewarm.
When Joshua was trying to understand Israel's defeat at Ai, God told him to get up! Stop praying.
Joshua 7:10-11 And the LORD said unto Joshua, Get thee up; wherefore liest thou thus upon thy face? Israel hath sinned, and they have also transgressed my covenant which I commanded them: for they have even taken of the accursed thing, and have also stolen, and dissembled also, and they have put it even among their own stuff.
God told Joshua to stop praying and start doing. The better course of action was to go and find the source of the problem and remove it from the camp.
And Joshua did just that.
Joshua 7:16 So Joshua rose up early in the morning,
and brought Israel by their tribes; and the tribe of Judah was taken:
God also told several of the prophets to stop praying for Israel
Jeremiah 7:16-17 Therefore pray not thou for this people, neither lift up cry nor prayer for them, neither make intercession to me: for I will not hear thee. Seest thou not what they do in the cities of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem?
The people were in disobedience to God and pursuing idolatry, so God told the prophets to stop praying. As long as the Israelites continued to rebel, it was pointless to pray.
Jeremiah 7:23 But this thing commanded I them, saying, Obey my voice, and I will be your God, and ye shall be my people: and walk ye in all the ways that I have commanded you, that it may be well unto you.
So, obedience matters. What you're praying for could be coming from a willing heart, right with God, but often
what God wants from you is action. Not more prayer.
Too many times I'm guilty of putting off something I know I should be doing, and just praying about it. “Is it your will God?” When I know full well that it is. I'm just delaying because it's too hard or too humbling.
All too often we pray but don't obey.
But obedience and prayer go hand in hand.
Stop praying about it if you're not willing to obey.
1 John 3:21-22 Beloved, if our heart condemn us not, then have we confidence toward God. And whatsoever we ask, we receive of him, because we keep his commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in his sight.
I know for me, I can raise my hand and say, “Guilty”. My prayer
is that God would reveal to me the areas that I am
failing Him by praying and not doing.
And that I will have a spirit of humbleness and obedience to His will.
Pray and Obey. Obey and Pray.
Stop praying. Start doing.