Don't Wait to Pray


“What is causing the quarrels and fights among you? Don’t they come from the evil desires at war within you? You want what you don’t have, so you scheme and kill to get it. You are jealous of what others have, but you can’t get it, so you fight and wage war to take it away from them. Yet you don’t have what you want because you don’t ask God for it. And even when you ask, you don’t get it because your motives are all wrong—you want only what will give you pleasure....Look here, you who say, ‘Today or tomorrow we are going to a certain town and will stay there a year. We will do business there and make a profit.’ How do you know what your life will be like tomorrow? Your life is like the morning fog—it’s here a little while, then it’s gone. What you ought to say is, ‘If the Lord wants us to, we will live and do this or that.’” - James 3:1-3, 13-15

Ever have one of those days? You know, when something goes wrong, and you think, “At least it can’t get any worse,” but then it does get worse.

What happens when that bad day seems to get stuck on repeat with no end in sight? If you’re a problem-solver, you might start to formulate a plan, only to see the next wave of trouble crush it like a castle of worthless sand. If you’re relational, you might call up your friends to ask advice that leads to nothing helpful, at least in the long-term.

Maybe as a last resort you pray. So often we think of prayer as our “last resort.” After we’ve tried everything else, we’ll finally say, “Well, I guess all I can do is pray.” For the early church, however, it was their first resort, not their last.

Prayer was the early church’s secret weapon – and it should be ours!

So, what would happen if going to God would be our first response instead of our last resort? What would be different in our lives if we had that intimacy, that communion with God?

It is arrogance that would cause someone to leave God out of the plans of his life. It is as Pharaoh once said, "Who is the LORD, that I should obey His voice?" The world may choose to exclude God from its plans. If so, it will suffer the consequences for that foolish, arrogant decision. But don’t forget to include God in all the other aspects of his life. History is filled with examples of unrighteous men and women, their plans made without God, and the disasters and tragedies that followed (Ezekiel 28:2-10; Acts 12:21-23).

Our text today tells us, "Instead, you ought to say, 'If the Lord wills, we shall live and also do this or that... Therefore, to one who knows the right thing to do, and does not do it, to him it is sin." (James 4:15, 17). The right thing to do is to always keep God's purpose and will in our hearts. Our lives belong to Him (1 Corinthians 6:19,20). We are here to serve and glorify Him. Concerning the things with which He has blessed us, we are thankful; "For everything created by God is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with gratitude; for it is sanctified by means of the word of God and prayer." (1 Timothy 4:4,5).

Let the world be arrogant, but not the disciples of our Lord Jesus. The day will come when every human plan will fail and all human arrogance will melt away. But, the righteous will abide forever.

Gracious God, thank You for Your amazing power and work in our lives, thank You for Your goodness and for Your blessings over us. Thank You for Your great love and care; and thank You for Your sacrifice so that we might have freedom and life. Forgive us for when we don't thank You enough, for who You are, for all that You do, for all that You've given. Help us to set our eyes and our hearts on You afresh. Renew our spirits, fill us with Your peace and joy. We love You and we need You, this day and every day. We give You praise and thanks, for You alone are worthy! Amen.
Nov 18 2018