Have you ever tried to help someone with their trial? You help them brainstorm to encourage them and help them find an answer. Finally, when you have done all you can, you say “All I can do is pray for you.” I am ashamed to say that I have uttered those words. What was I thinking???
Think about it. What are you actually saying? It sounds like I am saying I can fix things myself and if I need help, I can always ask God for His help. I have everything under control. Obviously, I have overestimated my abilities. What I have done is tried to help someone and when nothing seems helpful or works for them, I go to God. I wait till it’s an emergency. I let them know that, as a last resort, we can pray about it.
Why does it not occur to me that I can ask the Almighty, eternal, omnipotent, most merciful, most forgiving, loving, holy, trustworthy ….. God?? Get the idea of who He is?? If God created this universe and all that is in it, surely He has sufficient knowledge and power and can answer my prayer.
I need to stop trying, on MY own, to fix my problems or help other people with theirs. I need to ask God first for His help.
The amplified version of the statement “all I can do is pray” is everything I am able to do in my own strength has been tried so I will ask God if He can do something. Why wouldn’t I ask Him first? He is sufficient and all powerful to show me what to do. What a better answer I can give someone when I have God with me! “The prayer of a person living right with God is something powerful to be reckoned with.” James 5:16b (MSG)
Prayer should always be my first option. Prayer is not what you do when you have nothing else left to say or do; it’s the “top of the list” choice.
“All I can do is pray” is ABSOLUTELY the best thing you can say to someone but say it FIRST. I do not need to be ashamed to use those words. It’s not the words that are wrong as much as the attitude. Your attitude should not be one of saying it as a last resort but saying it as the initial step to find the answer. So by all means say it and mean it!
Never forget, always pray first and without ceasing!
“Prayer is essential in this ongoing warfare. Pray hard and long. Pray for your brothers and sisters.” Eph. 6:18 (MSG)