Thursday, October 29th, 2009
"Let your petitions be made known to God; and the peace of God that excels all thought will guard your hearts and your mental powers." (Philippians 4:6, 7)
Can we have peace of mind while undergoing distresses? Yes, because we know that Jehovah understands our situation, and he assures us that soon “the ruler of this world will be cast out.” (John 12:31) How comforting that is! Is it enough, then, for us just to take our problems to Jehovah in prayer? No. More is required. We need to act in harmony with our prayers. When King Saul sent men to David’s home to put him to death, David prayed: “Deliver me from my enemies, O my God; from those rising up against me may you protect me.” (Psalm 59:1) In addition to praying, David listened to his wife and took the necessary action to escape. (1 Samuel 19:11, 12) In a similar way, we can pray for practical wisdom to help us deal with and perhaps improve our distressing circumstances.—James 1:5.
(Watchtower issue: 03/15/08, 3:10, 12, 13)
*I can't remember exactly how it was worded, but I heard a brother who was giving a talk on this subject explain this aspect about prayer in a way that I'd never heard it put before.
It was something to this effect ...
When it comes to 'acting in harmony' with our prayers, we need to meet God 'half-way' (so to speak) by being willing to put forth the same amount of initiative or commitment that we're asking God to put forth in our behalf. Some people might then say in response to that, "well then what's the point of praying at all if you're just going to be doing the work yourself to make it happen?" But he went on to explain that although the 'power' or 'force' behind our petition being accomplished, would be the result of God's holy spirit, (rather than our own abilities) we would still need to demonstrate by 'our actions' that we are serious about our request.
For instance, lets say a person wants to lose weight & get in shape, but they know they need help to make it happen because they can't do it on their own. How would that person 'act in harmony' with their desire? They'd probably make an appointment to meet with a health nutritionist or a personal trainer at the gym, right? Well that trainer or nutritionist is going to expect to see a level of commitment from that person towards reaching their goal. But if that person starts habitually missing training sessions and keeps eating junk food and doesn't stick to the exercise program prescribed for them, what's gonna happen? The trainer is going to tell them "look, if you want my help then you have to be willing to work with me to reach your goal" ...they aren't going to waste their time trying to help someone who puts no effort into what they've requested.
So that's a good way to illustrate why we have to take steps to act in harmony with our prayers, since it wouldn't be fair or reasonable to petition God for help, and then just sit back and do nothing while we wait for him to magically fix everything for us.