“I’m feeling all prayed out!” It was a phrase I said to my husband and my mom. There was doubt and frustration in my voice and they both heard it. It was a recent moment when many big decisions were to be made, so I’d been praying a good bit. OK, I’d been praying a lot.
Praying without ceasing is one thing, but praying the same prayer over and over is when you realize your faith is the issue. I was worrying, so I kept praying. That is how I define laboring and spinning. I kept coming back around the same issue time and time again, tired and defeated.
While both responded with encouragement, I knew it was time to quit praying and start believing. That’s easier than it sounds. It’s how we become stronger and build our faith.
When is it time to quit praying?
First. When you’ve put something at the Lord’s feet, He takes it, He really does. Our job becomes not to take it back! We may not see what is happening, but we must exercise trust that He is working everything out for our good, according to His plan. Instead of praying more about it, we put faith into action. We begin to confess that we believe. “Thank you Lord that you’ve taken this issue from me. Thank you God for working this out according to your plan. I’m thankful Lord that I no longer have to worry about this issue.” We continue a prayerful dialogue, but moving into thanksgiving for God’s hand in our circumstances. We put faith into action.
Second. We search His word for answers. Often we pray about things that are already determined and set into motion. “Lord, please give me patience, self control, and more love for others.” Giving our hearts to God is important in building intimacy in our relationship with Him, but praying over and over for such things can be fruitless. God has graciously given us His son to live in us. We possess what Jesus possessed. If He had it, we have it. Therefore, when we recognize that we are lacking in one area or another, we simply remember to access what is already ours. “Lord, you have given me Jesus, therefore you have given me patience.” You have to use what you’ve been given by trusting that He is in you. He came to live in us, not through us. He is our life and breath.
Third. Sometimes, listening is our greatest need. Not to petition, not to beg, not to negotiate, or even to pray. We hear when we listen, and we listen when we silence our souls before God. We come before Him hungry to hear because we can Trust that He is good. His plan is better than we can ask or imagine. Listen for Him to calm your fears and lead you along the path He has designed for you.
Is it OK to quit praying? Sometimes, quiting praying is the answered prayer. Because it is then when we’ve moved into trusting. Praying! And when to quit. It’s today’s pick of the day.