Mark Affleck


November 18, 2021
Spiritual Growth

Thinking of ANSWERED PRAYERS from a Biblical perspective hits play on a stream of images rolling through our mind’s projector. We see stories of Diseases Destroyed. Sight Restored. Food Produced. Seas Parted. Attackers Defeated. Death Reversed.
We see GOD at work in those bring-in-the-band answers to prayer. Start-the-parade answers to prayer. Shoot-off-the-fireworks answers to prayer.
All believers are tempted to focus–especially when we are sharing with other believers—on this kind of spectacular answer to prayer where God acted apart from us.
But God is no less involved in our “pedestrian” every-day prayers that include our active involvement. Prayers that are answered without a band, or parade, or fireworks.
Focusing on the “spectacular answers” to prayer is what causes us to watch more than act in our prayers. To be spectators, not players, in the process by praying and then sitting back with popcorn and watch for the “answer show.”
C.S. Lewis puts it like this:
“We profanely assume that divine and human action exclude one another like the actions of two fellow-creatures so that ‘God did this’ and ‘I did this’ cannot both be true of the same act except in the sense that each contributed a share.”
If someone asked David: “Who won those battles?” he could rightly say, “I won them.” But he would quickly add:
“But I’d prefer to say God won them. It’s God who equipped me with strength.” Psalm 18:32
I call this the “PRAY/ACT” process.
It starts with us acknowledging our total ineptitude and weakness apart from God (Psalm 73:26).
Once that is done, we trust our prayer to God and believe he will answer because that is what he promises (Isaiah 43:2). 
Then we pray for wisdom…go out and act…and come back to pray. And then we do it again (Colossians 3:23-24).
PRAY/ACT: We pray for provision, and then we search tirelessly for an opportunity for God to act.
PRAY/ACT: We pray for power over anger, and then call a friend for support when our rage appears.
PRAY/ACT: We pray for wisdom on a fork-in-the-road decision, and then we pour through God’s Word for insights.
The message here is simple: Prayer is an ACTIVE PROCESS in partnership with God as the leader.
I ask God to remind me of my role to be active in the prayer process and at the same time trust him and defer to him.
Are you taking an ACTIVE ROLE in your prayers with God as the leader?
“But I’d prefer to say God won them. It’s God who equipped me with strength.” Psalm 18:32

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