“Prayer works. Prayer is work. Prayer leads to work.” This is a quote I copied, without attribution, into the back of my Bible some thirty-plus years ago.
I know that the operative word here is prayer, but I sometimes act as if the most important word were work.
Have you ever been guilty of that?
When your list of pressing chores is especially long, are you inclined to spend more time on your knees — or less? Do you view prayer as leisurely pastime or a life-preserving necessity?
James 5:16 tells us, “The effectual, fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.”
Prayer should be so much more than a brief benediction we utter before setting our shoulder to the wheel.
Prayer works. Prayer itself is work. And prayer has the power to make all the work that follows more focused and productive.
Martin Luther understood this fact, which is why he once wrote, “I have so much to do today, I must spend the first three hours in prayer.”
Whether intuitively or experientially, Luther knew that the longer his “to do” list, the more desperately he needed the wisdom, blessing, and empowering of God.
Shouldn’t prayer be our starting point, as well?
“More things are wrought by prayer than this world dreams of.” Wonder who wrote that, but I know it’s true. Prayer is my secret weapon. I’m not very smart or knowledgeable about business but it is amazing how God works to make our business successful. When I am asked why, I say it is because God is our manager, He is our marketing department (we never spend money to advertise but we always get invited to come out on TV or get interviewed for magazine articles), He is the source of all our great ideas and inspiration, He is our problem solver, etc etc etc. That is why I never forget to pray and read the Word.
Jennifer Flanders says
I learned that same lesson the hard way. We paid lots of money on advertising when my first book was published with little measurable effect. However, when my book was providentially placed in the hands of a popular women’s speaker by a conference attendee who had read and loved it, she agreed that its message was both timely and complementary to her own and contacted us about purchasing copies from us in bulk to resell at her conferences. She ended up buying out our entire first printing and continues to reorder regularly. It was really a God-thing, and something all the advertising in the world could not have orchestrated.
So true Jennifer. First things first…and God will order the rest. Psalm 143:8….show me the way that I should go! How many times have I rolled out of bed, hit the ground running with this nagging voice in my head ~stop and talk with Me first! Sometimes I get distracted by the shiny objects of the morning…but until I stop and ask Him ‘what today Lord’….it’s just chaotic movement at best! (I only think I have it under control and working smoothly!)