Finding Faith: Do I act or do I pray?

Rev. Taylor Camerer

In the church at Antioch there were prophets and teachers:

Barnabas, Simeon called Niger, Lucius of Cyrene, Manaen

(who had been brought up with Herod the tetrarch) and Saul.

While they were worshipping the Lord and fasting, the Holy

Spirit said, “Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work

to which I have called them.” So after they had fasted and

prayed, they placed their hands on them and sent them off.

–Acts 13:1-3

Your church organizes some short-term mission trip where help is sorely needed. Do you pray or do you act?

The children and youth in your church need volunteers to grow and be welcoming to new members. Do you pray or do you act?

A local food pantry calls for commitment and expansion in the face of growing needs. Do you pray or do you act?

Prayer is one of the most powerful tools we have at our disposal. It allows us to speak to the Lord and to petition Him directly for guidance and help. I’m big on prayer. Much confusion and discouragement is created when we substitute our own agendas for His.

But sometimes we can be the answer to our own prayer. Those are the times when we should pray and act. Maybe help out the Salvation Army soup kitchen?

In the first century, the goods news of Christ was spread by people going out into the world. John Piper puts it plainly: We either go, send, or disobey. Perhaps you can donate time, food and prayer. Are you the person God is leading to take action?

That’s why their story is told in a book called “The Acts of the Apostles,” not “The Prayers of the Apostles.”

We should never downplay prayer, for it is something God commanded us to do. But let’s realize that sometimes we need to back up our prayers with action.

“Lord when I sense your call to serve,

Help me to follow through;

I must not simply pray and wait

When there is work to do.”

— Fosdick

God has something He wants to do through you, right where you are.

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Finding Faith is written by area pastors. This week’s column comes from Rev. Taylor Camerer of Great Island Presbyterian Church, Lock Haven.

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