It Might Be Time to Stop Praying

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Yes, that’s right, stop praying!  Before you get a bee in your bonnet, stay with me.  I have been going through a 4-week study with my Sunday school class called, “Taking Responsibility for Your Life” by Andy Stanley.  Week three was entitled, “this is no time to pray”.  Some things we simply do not need to pray about.  For example, we don’t need to ask God whether we should show compassion to our enemies.  We don’t need to ask God about being honest.  We don’t need to ask God if it is okay to cheat on our spouse.  Those things are settled in His word.  They are NOT okay!  (Duh) We learned that some Christians tend to hide behind prayers instead of resolving to stand up and get moving!  In fact, we might be one of those Christians if we look closely.  We spend so much time praying about matters when really we have never settled the issue in our own heart to change an area and look to God for the strength to stay on course.

Joshua 7:10-12

The Lord said to Joshua, “Stand up!  What are you doing down on your face?  Israel has sinned; they have violated my covenant, which I commanded them to keep.  They have taken some of the devoted things; they have stolen, they have lied, they have put them with their own possessions.  That is why the Israelites cannot stand against their enemies; they turn their backs and run because you have been made liable to destruction.  I will not be with you anymore unless you destroy whatever among you is devoted to destruction.”

Joshua chapter 7 is the story about the city of Ai and its destruction all because of one man named Achan who had taken the spoils (gold and silver) of war and hidden it in his tent after Joshua made it abundantly clear they were NOT to take anything from Jericho.  Nothing. Notta. Zip. Zilch.

The long and the short of it…there is not much use in a perpetual prayer line for the sin in our lives when we are not willing to do anything about it.  God is not going to do it for us.  God expects us to get up off our face at some point and get a move on!

A trivial matter from the life of Kelli Estes I’ll share.  I drink way too many diet mountain dews each day.  I know they are bad for my health.  I know the risks of excess intake.  I keep buying them at the store and stocking my fridge.  In fact, I do not ever allow myself to run out.  I can pray until my knees are calloused over, but until I stop buying diet mountain dew and make up my mind that I am ready to lay them down, God cannot help me have the strength to quit drinking them.

I know this example seems null compared to Achan and his sin of stealing the spoils of war, but I think it is fair to say we can apply this to any area of our lives regardless of how large or small.  If God has spoken to us about a matter that needs change and we continue to turn a blind eye and hide underneath prayer while we DO nothing, there are consequences to those decisions and we are devoting ourselves to our own destruction so to speak.

Studying this story has really made me think twice about how I need to be praying and how not to pray with regard to a few areas of my life.  I need to destroy the habit of continually buying diet mountain dew, decide I am going to eat healthier, and integrate regular physical activity into my life.  Then…I need to pray for God to help me each day to show up and be faithful to these commitments.  I don’t think praying for God to help me get healthier this year and lose 25 pounds will be very fruitful unless I do my part.  If it were so, we would all be shopping in the single digit section, praying away the calories of blizzards and scones and muffins without ever having set foot on the exercise equipment.

So ladies, whatever it is for you, join me in searching the heart for honesty so we can make a decision to get real with what needs to be destroyed in our lives and pray with expectant victory!!!!

In His Strength,

Kelli

 

 

 

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One Comment

  1. Shana Hensley
    Posted January 22, 2014 at 9:46 am | Permalink

    For 13 years I stayed away from caffeinated drinks. For health reasons it just wasn’t good for me. So, 4 exhausting math classes later, I am now having 2 diet cokes a day. Like you said, I know it is bad for me. I find myself handing the Lord one of those 5 second prayers, “Lord I know this is bad! Help me stop!” Then I gather the diet coke coupons for my next grocery store trip. I like what you wrote, “Let’s make a decision to get real with what needs to be destroyed in our lives and pray with expectant victory.” Joining you now!

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