Tuesday, February 7, 2017

The Discipline of Active Prayer

Then the word of the Lord came to Samuel: "I am grieved that I made Saul king, because he has turned away from me and has not carried out my instructions." Samuel was troubled and cried out to the Lord all that night.
Early in the morning, Samuel got up and went out to meet Saul...

     1 Samuel 15:10-12

Like Samuel, many of us find ourselves up late into the night, praying over something that is troubling us. Maybe it's an unwanted diagnosis or unemployment. Maybe it's a wayward child or damaged trust in a dear relationship. Whatever it is, we often find it easy to stay up late into the night crying out to the Lord over our hardship, but not so easy getting ourselves to get up and do what the Lord has put on our hearts to do about the situation.
Our lack of action may be due to fear. What if it doesn't work? What if I am left more heart broken than before? 
It may also be due to a lack of trust in the Lord. What if He doesn't provide?
Or it may even be a more physical need, like Samuel's need for sleep.

We make excuses, saying we don't have the time. We did all we were supposed to do, right? We brought our pain before the Lord; He'll take care of the rest, right?
Not necessarily. You see, my fiance recently lost his job. Devastated, because we have bills to pay and a wedding to save for, we cried out to the Lord. But we didn't stop there. The next morning, we got up and took action! I worked harder to make more money to pay for our bills, and he started calling and emailing anyone he could who might give a job lead. How silly would it have been if we cried out to God over this unfortunate situation, then sat back and did nothing? Was a job going to fall into his lap if he sat at home and watched TV all day? Of course not!

The Prophet Samuel was up all night praying about his troublesome situation, just as we were, and even after getting little to no sleep, he rose early and did as the Lord asked of him. He went to confront Saul, king of all the Jews.
This could have ended badly for him in any number of ways, biggest of all being that he could have been killed for confronting the king. Samuel knew, however, that if the Lord was leading him into the situation, He would also protect him from any harm that may come.

So, whatever it is you are facing, if you find yourself struggling with what the Lord has put on your heart to do, remember the prophet's dedication, and ask the Holy Spirit to bestow you with strength and courage to walk the path before you and trust that the Lord will protect you, just as He protected Samuel.