Prayer or Action?
When I was on staff with InterVarsity, I remember a certain team meeting very well. I was in the hot seat explaining how the year was going. There were many questions. There was one that I remember the most. It was because of my answer. That's when I learned something about myself. I was asked what is it that I want to do in my ministry on campus. The answer I gave: Prayer.
I couldn’t believe what I had just said. In the years since that moment, I know without a doubt that God has wired me for prayer. But is prayer the most important part of mission? To answer that question, let’s look at Exodus 17:8-16.
Here is the background; The Amalekites came from a long distance just to attack Israel. Israel is tired, they had just left Egypt. To top it off, they are not soldiers, they are ex-slaves. What does Moses do? He goes off to the hill to pray. And he sends his aid, Joshua, to lead the battle. After my first reading of this I was saying, “Moses, what are you thinking? You are the leader, you should be fighting the battle.” As I keep thinking about it, Moses did what he was suppose to do. He was the leader and he knew that Israel needed God at this critical junction in their history.
Not only did Moses go off to pray, but he brought his brother, Aaron the priest, and his friend Hur with him. Moses knew that he needed a prayer team. Together they prayed for victory and God answered the prayer.
You can't catch a baseball at the beach by prayer only.
Let’s look at Joshua for a moment, the aid that Moses sent into battle. Would the battle have been won if no one was fighting the battle? Yes, but God used Joshua for the victory. Why is that? I think God wants us to play a role. That is what Joshua was doing. Playing HIS role. In the end, God is quick to point out that he did play a part. He tells Moses to write down what happened for Joshua to remember. This is a good thing because 40 years from that point Joshua will be the one leading them into the promise land.
What is more important, prayer or action in the mission? I believe both are equally important. While some of us are wired more for prayer, others of you are more wired for action. We need each other. The action guy and the prayer guys. Let’s face it, there will be times when we need to participate in what were are not wired for. As a prayer guy, I need to remember to go out and participate in the mission and those of you that are wired for action need to remember to pray.
So, what are we to do? When you know that you need prayer, ask others to be praying for you. Let’s face it, we need prayer in everything we do. In my life, I need prayer for a lot of things; work, ministry, being a dad, husband, etc. There is a battle going on. I need God and I know that others need God. So, I intercede for them and for God’s mission in my local context (Old Town, Maine) and around the world.
So, who are your “Joshua’s” that you can be praying for? Who are the Moses, Aaron, and Hurs that can be praying for you? How else can you be supporting your “Joshua’s”? Can you join them in their mission? How will you invite the prayer warriors in your life to join you?
So, PARTICIPATE (ACTIVELY) in the mission, AND ... PRAY!