Pray Before Giving Your Answer
by Violet Nesdoly (reprinted July 12, 2012 with permission)
TODAY’S SPECIAL: 2 Samuel 7:1-17
TO CHEW ON: “Then Nathan said to the king, ‘Go and do all that is in your heart, for the Lord is with you.’
But it happened that night that the word of the Lord came to Nathan saying, ‘Go and tell my servant David, “Thus says the Lord: ‘Would you build a house for Me to dwell in?”‘” 2 Samuel 7:3-5.
As we read on from the focus verse above, we see that God said no to David’s idea of building Him a house. Rather, David’s seed (his son Solomon) was the one God had picked to do this (2 Samuel 7:12-13). And poor Nathan had to go back the next day and burst David’s bubble, so to speak.
Nathan’s quick, off-the-cuff reaction to David’s question reminds me of how I so often respond to ideas and opportunities that come my way: Oh, that sounds like a good idea, interesting, fun! Yes. I’ll get involved. But I neglect to consult with God first just like Nathan. Then later, usually during my quiet time, God and I revisit the thing I’ve just committed to. More than once I’ve sensed I should pull back, or pull out.
That’s why I’m trying to make it a habit to defer making decisions on opportunities, or projects, or new commitments until I’ve had a chance to check with the Boss. For what seems like a great idea to me may not be what God has in mind at all.
Even Jesus adopted this policy. He said: “… I do nothing of Myself but as My Father taught Me, I speak these things” – John 8:28.
Dear God, please help me to subject my opportunities and involvements to Your scrutiny and to be obedient to Your directions. Amen.
MORE: Prayer and work
“It is not prayer in addition to work, but prayer simultaneous with work. We precede, enfold and follow all our work with prayer.” – Richard Foster (quoted in Prayer Points p. 54).
“There is a way of ordering our mental life on more than one level at once. On one level we may be thinking, discussing, seeing, calculating, meeting all the demands of external affairs. But deep within, behind the scenes, at a profounder level, we may also be in prayer and adoration, song and worship, and a gentle reception to divine breathings.” – Thomas Kelly (Quoted in Prayer Points p. 55-56).
- How Can Apostle Paul Pray for Us? (underthecoverofprayer.wordpress.com)
- Is Your Mind a Cluttered Desktop of Needs? (underthecoverofprayer.wordpress.com)
- When Do We Need Prayer? (underthecoverofprayer.wordpress.com)
Violet freelances in several genres and has been published in a variety of print and online publications. Her articles, stories, and activities have appeared in Keys for Kids, Devotions for Girls, Devotions for Boys, Clubhouse, Guide, Primary Treasure, Partners, Pockets and others. She has also published two books of poetry and is an avid blogger. She is a member of Inscribe Christian Writers’ Fellowship and a professional member of The Word Guild.
So glad you found this and that it was helpful! I’m the same way–gungho when I hear of a new opportunity, jumping in without much thought or prayer and than, oops! All the best as you ask for wisdom and get direction.
Violet, have you been “reading my mail”? I am eclectically-interested – and that’s not a bad thing. However, just because something is shiny and new doesn’t mean it’s something for me to pursue personally. I will likely always have several balls in the air, but I must learn to step back and ask for wisdom and direction before jumping – yet again. Thanks so much for this post.