There is No Third Option: Either Prayer Fuels the Work or the Flesh Will

Friday is for Heart Songs

GratitudeWe’re human.

We’re American.

We’re educated.

We’re healthy (mostly).

And all those blessings are opportunities for gratefulness. They are opportunities to acknowledge our contingency, our dependence on things outside of our control, and for which we have no merit. We are simply the recipients of the unmerited favor of God’s grace.

But when that grace, that unmerited favor is forgotten, is not consciously relied on and joyfully acknowledged we begin to function in our natural, independent, sin-infected selves. And that is at least one of the reasons why we are encouraged to pray without ceasing (1 Thess. 5:17-18).

Prayer of ThanksPrayer reminds us that all the good things we have, all the good things that have been given to us, and even all the good things that we hope to achieve are gifts from God

That’s the import of Jesus’ words in John 15 when He said that “apart from Me you can do nothing.” (John 15:5)

I wonder if we believe Him?

We are so quick to plan, to organize, to discuss, to strategize, to “do something,” that private prayer and gathering the saints for corporate prayer are simply pro forma actions, something we do because we should, not because we believe it is vital. Oswald Chambers put it this way:

The measure of the worth of our public activity for God is the private profound communion we have with Him. … We have to pitch our tents where we shall always have quiet times with God, however noisy our times with the world may be.

My Utmost for His Highest, Oswald Chambers, January 6

I want to learn to “pitch my tent” in the quietness of seeking God and I want to help leaders, pastors, and elders to leave “the noise of our times” and make their plans and strategies only after a long and deep contemplation of God and His will for the Church.

Prayer will either fuel the work
or my flesh will
and my flesh is a train wreck waiting to happen.

I want to lead my soul to believe and live by the motto, that without Jesus, I can do nothing.

5 thoughts on “There is No Third Option: Either Prayer Fuels the Work or the Flesh Will

  1. Amen!! Just had this conversation yesterday with a young man I’m mentoring for ministry. I will point him to your article for more confirmation. Thanks brother…. God bless, Terry


  2. We need to talk about this more. There is so much temptation/danger to engage the ministry and not engage God’s Spirit. Once upon a time we talked about personal retreat days…and holding one another accountable to them. I think that would be one of many practices that helps us to guard against the flesh in regards to our public ministry. I think we also ought to be prepared to sharpen each other when it comes to our personal “quiet time.” It is not out of line to ask a brother if they are spending time with the Lord each day.


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