Mark Affleck

STOP Saying:  “All We Can Do Now Is Pray!”

November 2, 2021
Spiritual Growth

This just in from our global online tribe: Recently when a crisis hit my small group of Christian friends, I made this comment: “ALL WE CAN DO NOW IS PRAY.” The reaction from all of them was that I was minimizing prayer. Why did they say that?
Let me start with the ending and then work back. We need to change the headline…FROM: “All we can do now is pray” TO: “What we must do is pray every day.”
“Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
We don’t just wake up one day when life is running smooth and say: “All I can do now is pray.” We say those words when pain envelopes our life’s movie and it fades to dark agony. But God does not want us to WAIT for that and think “all we can do now is pray.”
Using the word ALL (all we can do now is pray…) implies that prayer is a last resort that suggests it “probably won’t work” and minimizes the power of prayer.
God wants us to connect with him in prayer every day—through both the positive and negative winds blowing in our life and look at prayer as our FIRST RESPONSE, not the LAST RESORT.
Praying every day will develop a “rhythm of faith” that gains strength with each prayer and fights off our propensity to be pessimistic. When a crisis does hit (and, of course, they will) we can tap into that rhythm and dialog we have already established with God.
What are the BARRIERS to living out God’s mandate to pray without ceasing? Here’s the very short list: Fear. Pride. Bitterness. Complacency. Apathy. Busyness. Add anything that gets in the way of connecting with God.
One of the best ways to fight through barriers to prayer is to expect God to SHOW UP for us. Living with extreme expectancy should drive our attitude in prayer specifically and toward life in general. If we don’t pray expectantly that God will turn our life in a new and joyous direction, how can he?
There is always something to praise; always a promise to embrace; always someone in need of prayer; and always a plea for provision. There is always a prayer to pray.
I ask God to help me think about prayer as my FIRST RESPONSE and not my LAST RESORT.
Are you praying EVERY DAY or waiting until a storm hits and then think: “All I can do now is pray”? What are the barriers to daily prayer in your life today? What can you do this week to start breaking them down?
“Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.” Romans 12:12

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