I came across this quote, and it had the power to stop me in my tracks:
“Prayer is not flight, prayer is power. Prayer does not deliver a man from some terrible situation; prayer enables a man to face and to master the situation.” –William Barclay
For all the times that people have shown disdain for the power of prayer (I know, because I’ve done it myself whenever some sweet little Christian tells me, “Well, we’ll just have to pray about it,” instead of offering me real-world, tangible, IMMEDIATE solutions to the problem at hand), I offer up this quote. Prayer isn’t hiding, or refusing to address the situation, or blindly passing the responsibility (and therefore, the blame) off on God. It is the ultimate form of devotion and faith, while also taking extreme control over any situation.
Once I have prayed about any particular concern or problem, it’s done. It is finished. The most that I can do has been done. There may be little things I can do in that problem, things that people can see and respond to, but the most powerful thing I can do is over.
Unfortunately, it’s really, really hard to remember that. I’m one of those “last minute” Christians, the kind of who thinks, “Oh yeah, I should probably pray about this.” It’s just not my natural response, probably from not having strong instruction in prayer to begin with. I have to literally write reminders to myself to pray, but hopefully with this shift in perception–with this realization that prayer is the most effective thing I can do, EVER–it will move into the forefront of my mind instead of being the action of last resort.