Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Prayer Is Not Just Spinning Your Wheels

"Now Peter and John were going up to the temple at the hour of prayer, the ninth hour. And a man lame from birth was being carried, whom they laid at the gate of the temple that is called the Beautiful Gate, to ask alms of those entering the temple." ~ Acts 3:1-2

A truck was stuck in the mud and its owner just kept spinning his wheels in the belief that somehow, if he just pressed harder on the accelerator, he would get out. Two other men found him and told him to stop spinning his wheels. They would push his truck and rock it back and forth as he did the same with his gears. It took a little work, but he finally got out.

I don't know if you have thought of this, but the lame man was stuck. No matter how hard he tried, he wasn't going anywhere. For years, people carried him and laid him at the gate to beg. That was helpful, but it didn't change anything. Then two men on their way to pray came by, and he got unstuck.

How many times have you heard, "Well, the least we can do is pray," or "I can't do much. All I can do is pray."?  What a misconception. So much of what we do is just spinning our wheels until we pray. We try hard and go nowhere. Sometimes we find someone who will carry us along for awhile, a new pastor or teacher or author . . . but we are still stuck. Then we pray, earnestly giving up on ourselves and trusting in God by prayer, and He frees us from the muck. The prophet (Zech. 4:6) recorded God's Words , "Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit says the Lord of hosts."