Do you ever use praying about it as a way of trying to avoid doing something about it? If you know someone who is having a hard time, do you tell him or her that you said a prayer for them and hope that by doing so you have fulfilled your moral obligation? “I’m kinda busy, so I’ll ask The Big Guy to do it.” Because He has so much time on his hands these days.
Illness, divorce, job loss; all can be very isolating. While it’s nice to think that you are being remembered in someone’s prayers, what will mean the world is that handwritten note that says someone is thinking of you. I know a young man who, while housebound from a bout of severe depression, said that for weeks the one thing that kept him going were the daily emails from a friend. What amounted to a few minutes of her time was a lifeline to the outside world for him. Lawns need to be mowed, houses need to be cleaned, and home cooked meals often become a luxury when someone is in a crisis.
The doing something about it plan works the same when it comes to how we treat our own problems. Would you pray for good health, Twinkie in one hand Marlboro in the other? Pray for a better relationship with your spouse on your way to the neighborhood bar to shoot pool with your buddies? Ask God to parent your children so you can go play golf? How about asking Him for financial guidance and then reward yourself with an afternoon of shopping?
Do we turn it over to God and let Him do all the work, or do we step in and to do some of the heavy lifting ourselves? I’m not a big teller of jokes, but this one seems to fit:
Every night for years, Mary asked God, “Please, Lord, let me win the lottery. I’m a decent person. I work hard. Still, I can’t seem to pay the bills on time. I promise if I win I will share my wealth with those less fortunate.” After ten years of saying this as part of her nightly prayers, God answered her! “God, please, I know I have asked you this for years and years, but I am asking you again. Please, please let me win the lottery so I can send my children to college and pay off some of my bills.” Lying there in her darkened room she heard a voice, deep, clear and unmistakable: “Mary…. This is God. Mary, you have to help me here. If you want to win the lottery, you have got to buy a ticket.”
To read more from Lorie Sheffer, Mid Life Celebration’s featured Guest Blogger, click here. She has her own page. 🙂