Andy Admits He Did Something Terrible (Well, Sort Of Terrible)

“Is there anything I can do besides pray?”

That’s a statement I made to a friend of mine.  It’s a remark that I have made often over my 35 years.  And the heart of the statement is OK – I want to do as much as I can to help someone in need.

But the wording is terrible isn’t it?

“BESIDES pray”

Doesn’t that sound like I’m making prayer the last resort?  Doesn’t that simple statement make prayer sound like ‘good thoughts’ or powerless meditations?

Prayer is just the opposite.  Prayer changes God’s mind.

I shutter when I type those four words because I think to myself, “Can that really be true?”  Doesn’t the God that made time and can see the past, present and future, already have His mind made up?

We see Him answer specific prayers often in Scripture.  One of my favorite examples in in John 2.  It’s the scene of Jesus’ first miracle.  His mother Mary asks Jesus to take care of a wine-shortage at a wedding.  That’s a pretty big deal during that time and culture.  Take a look at His response in verse 4, before he goes ahead and performs the miracle. “Dear woman, that’s not our problem,” Jesus replied. “My time has not yet come.”

Reading that makes me think Jesus had a plan when He departed from heaven and came to earth.  He may have had a timeline in his head of the miracles He would perform, the people he would touch and the places He would go.  He knew He would have to die for us and would ultimately defeat death and sin.

He had a precise plan just like a contractor or an engineer would.  Or did He?

That simple statement regarding His ‘time’ makes me wonder.  Is God moved to action when I pray?

That simple statement gives me confidence.  I think He is.

From now on, let’s live out Hebrews 4:16.  ” So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most.”

So instead of asking, “Is there anything I can do besides pray?,” lets think of it this way.

“How can I help you approach the God of the Universe so that you and I both see Him at work?”

I think that’s a better question.