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There is something beautiful about the simplicity of kids. I remember after planting our first garden our little girls woke up early in the morning to run outside and see if anything had grown. After all, we had just put seeds in the ground 20 hours prior! Their eager expectation is instructive.

In the 5th Psalm we read of a believer exercising highly developed prayer reflexes. He is crying out to God. His heart is overcome with weightiness. It is the type of thing that is first on his mind as he awakens in the morning (Ps. 5.1-2). The concern, burden, anxiety, and desperation of the soul continue to bubble up within him.

What does he do? He does what is natural for the child of God. He opens the cap of his highly carbonated soul. His reflex is to pray (Ps. 5.3). He cries out to God.

But he does something else. In verse 3 we read that he also watches. This can be translated “spy” or “look out” or “keep watch.” It is the same word used in Prov. 15.3, “The eyes of the Lord are in every place, keeping watch on the evil and the good.” The point is simple: the believer is to feel their burden, carry their burden to God, and then watch for God to work. In other words, don’t just pray about it….but look for God to work!

Much like a eager and expectant child who has dropped a seed into the ground, the believer is to look through the eyes of faith knowing that God is for them, loves them, hears them, and works all things together for their good (Rom. 8.28; 1 Pet. 5.6-8). The same heart of faith that comes to God in prayer patiently waits and watches for God to answer his prayer.

I know that I do not do this when I am doubting God’s closeness, care, power, intimacy, favor, and compassion. All of these sinful, faithless doubts were answered at the cross however. The cross of Christ is God’s declaration of his love, his pledge of closeness, his promise of intimacy, and his demonstration of compassion. As Paul rightly reasoned and concluded:

He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things? (Rom. 8.32)

May we have those childlike reflexes that so characterize the children of God. Let us pray, wait, and watch.

[photo via Shutterstock]

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2 thoughts on “Don’t Just Pray About It”

  1. Chuckt says:

    Exodus 14:15 ¶ And the LORD said unto Moses, Wherefore criest thou unto me? speak unto the children of Israel, that they go forward:

    Moses must have been praying or God at least gave Moses a command and the Lord told him to (instead) speak to the children of Israel to go forward.

    At a certain point it is time to get up and do something.

    1. Toonna says:

      When I first read the title of this post and saw the header image, my first thought was Elisha praying repeatedly for the rain to return, while sending his servant to watch out for any sign of his expectations. I am also reminded of the woman with the issue of blood who expected to be healed and reach out to take her expected, then finally Hebrews 11:6 comes to mind, testifying that God rewards faithful expectations. In my mind somethings I think, “What gives me the audacity, how dare I expected anything of the Most High God!?!”, but then I think that may be the devil’s lies masquerading as false humility; faith by definition seems to be rooted in confident expectation of God.

      Does this negate us doing something also? I’m not sure. Depending on the circumstance, if it’s one in which we are completely helpless, ‘waiting’ may be the most active thing we do. In some other instance, we doing something may be the act of faith that shows we trust God’s actions in and above our actions.

      God Himself seems to demand us to have expect Him to do something, and at other times God demands we do something because He has enabled us to.

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Erik Raymond

Erik Raymond is senior pastor of Emmaus Bible Church in Omaha, Ne. He and his wife Christie have six children. You can follow him on Twitter.

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