You’ve probably read the quotes. John Bunyon, for example: “You can do more than pray after you have prayed, but you cannot do more than pray until you have prayed.” Or St. Augustin: “Pray as if it all depends on God and act as if it all depends on you.”
I love those quotes – because they call us to prayer and action – but in the right order.
Jesus showed us this by example:
- Before he began his ministry, he spent forty days fasting and praying in the wilderness. (Luke 4)
- Before he named the twelve, he spent the night in prayer. (Luke 6:12)
- Before he raised Lazarus, he prayed (John 11)
- Before he went to the Garden of Gethsemane, he prayed. (John 17)
- Before he was arrested, tried, tortured, and crucified for the sins of the world, he prayed. (Mark 14:32)
Before his work, he prayed. The apostles did the same. So have the most impactful followers of Jesus down through history.
It’s easy to forget that. (I forgot to pray about this blog post until I was well into it. Hmm.)
The Tampa Underground is a network of missional mirco-churches in Tampa. It was on their web-site I read that they wanted to meet every need in Tampa with prayerful action. I like that. But I think I need to add more prayer. Meeting needs with prayer and prayerful action.
Lent starts this week. I wonder how we might cultivate a habit of prayer and prayerful action this season? Without it, without prayer, missional action is probably just action.