Have you ever said the phrase “all I can do is pray”? Like praying is not any help or like it is our last resort. It also comes across as what we do when it seems necessary. It’s like we think it’s not our responsibility to pray. I know I have said that very thing and it almost seems like an attitude of my prayer as a last resort. It sounds almost like we are relinquishing hope but it should be a declaration of the fact that He hears our prayers and can do ALL things.
Think about it. When you say it with a wrong attitude, what are you really saying? I am really saying: I can fix things myself and if I need help, I can ask God for help. I am in control and can try it myself first, then I can pray and ask God. I am saying I have things under control. As a last resort, I will pray. Prayer is when nothing else I am doing works so I consider it an emergency and don’t know what else to do so I pray. I am basically pretending I am God. It seems like a downplay on God and prayer.
I am learning that I have a hidden control issue. It’s not blatant and obvious because I don’t take charge but it’s a tug of war between God and I about who is in control. I struggle with praying for something and then trying to “fix” things or come up with an answer on my own or “helping” Him work things out. I am not truly giving control to God and believing in faith that He will answer. “Prayerful answers come from God.” (Prov 15:29 MSG)
And then when we do pray, how many of us, give it over to Him and then 5 minutes later, we take it back? We have given in to the lie that we know how to handle things better than God does. We must stop trying to fix the problem on our own and leave it to God and let Him have control. When we pray, it is not the “end” of the situation; it is the “beginning.” It is the beginning of letting God be in charge and watching how He answers our prayer. Our God is the God of new beginnings and not endings. He has the answer to our prayer and His purpose will stand. “Many are the plans (or how a prayer should be answered in our minds) in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the Lord that will stand.” (Prov. 19:21 NKJV) God’s answer is better than our answer.
There is a balance between letting God have control and doing your part so you have a bit of control but it is UNDER Him. “When you take control, you become creator and not creation.” (Michael Todd) There is only ONE creator. As creation, we live under the power of the ONLY creator. Creation cannot do more than the creator.
If your prayer is for Him to change something that is in your control, He may not answer because He is waiting for you to do your part. He won’t carry us through things that we can do with Him beside us. Sometimes, God doesn’t answer our prayers because we are in the way. We are delaying His answer and how He wants to deliver us. Give Him control but do what you have the ability to do.
“Make this your common practice: Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you can live together whole and healed. The prayer of a person living right with God is something POWERFUL TO BE RECKONED WITH!” (James 5:16-17 MSG) Prayer isn’t all you can do but it is the MOST important thing you can do. You can ask the Almighty God who created the universe, who is the God of all peace and comfort, to hear your prayer. Not only will it heal you and work in your situation but it will give you peace. “Don’t fret and worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God’s wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It’s wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life.” Phil 4:6-7 MSG).
So, “all I can do is pray” is the first thing we should say and do. It is full of hope! It is all YOU can do but it’s not all God can do. All you can do sounds like an ending but if you let control go and give it to God, for Him, it’s just the beginning. Pray. Give Him control. “He is “able to do EXCEEDNGLY abundantly above all that we ask or think.” (Eph. 3:20 NKJV). “God can do anything, you know-far more than you could EVER imagine or guess or request in your wildest dreams.” (Eph. 3:20 MSG).