Pray then Act, Not Vice-Versa

This is a section from a Mark Driscoll series called 11 Leadership Lessons from 12 Disciples. Praying should lead to our decision making, not vice-versa. I believe people are letting their emotions lead them and calling it “prayer”. They go into a room and pray but before they ever speak one word to God, they already know what the answer is going to be because it’s what they will to do. Why do I believe this? Because you see people “called” to do something or go somewhere who don’t make it past the first trial they face. As soon as things get tough they pack up their bags and call it quits. We go on and do whatever we please then come and ask God to clean up our mess after everything has gone down hill. Even sadder is that some people dont even pray after everything hit work bottom but keep on jumping from city to city and church to church till everything is how they like it.  How can we expect to be able to lead others if we can’t even lead our own lives. Our lives would be so much more organized and effective if we would just humble ourselves to seek God’s will before we made important decisions.

Lesson #1: Pray humbly then proceed boldly

Before choosing the twelve, what does Jesus do? Luke 6 tells us, he spent a whole night in prayer (Luke 6:12). Silence and solitude: today this would be shut off the phone, shut down the computer, stop Twittering, Facebooking, blogging. Shut it all down. Don’t ask everybody, “What do you think I should do?” Don’t post it on your wall, “Everybody, give me your advice.”

Just shut it all down, go get with God, silence and solitude. Bring a pen, paper, a Bible, get some time with God, and talk to him. “All right, Lord, I’ve got an important decision to make. I’m here humbly requesting you help me. Speak to me through Scriptures, the Holy Spirit, conscience. Help me know what to do.” This is exceedingly important, because we live in a world where hurry, worry, and busy dominate. No time for solitude, no time for silence. And so rather than going to God, we sometimes even go to technology to ask everybody else, “What should I do? Give me advice. Give me feedback.” And that’s not always evil or bad, but Jesus’ example is: start with prayer. Life, ministry, and major decisions have to be bathed and birthed in prayer. That’s the way it works.

And it says previously in Luke that Jesus has done this before, so this is a fairly common occurrence for him. He’s got to choose twelve apostles, that’s a big deal, so he’s going to spend a whole night in prayer, looking across all those who are following him, and coming to hear him preach and teach. “Father, what about this one? What about that guy? What about this person? What about that one? Judas, you sure? We need to talk about that guy, not so sure I want him on the team.”

So when you declare, “I’m going to be a member of this church. I want to serve in this ministry, paid or unpaid. I want to marry this person. I want (to) go want to this college. I want to get this degree. I want to do this career. I want to live in this house. I want to take on this responsibility. We’re going to birth these children.” Before you make those big decisions, “We’re going to deploy these leaders,” pray, because what happens is most people pray after they’ve made the decision. Like, “Oh no, Lord, help, fix it. Whoops.” God is a gracious God, and he can and does often show up and help, but it’s so much better to seek God before making the decision, and the resulting devastation.


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4 thoughts on “Pray then Act, Not Vice-Versa

  1. theologigal says:

    Amen! I like Driscoll a lot so I’ll def. have to check out this series. Thanks for sharing!

    – Amanda

  2. Barkha says:

    Ricky…………that is so true!…..god bless your heart!
    Thanks for sharing and encouraging a new light of leadership in all of us.
    Barkha Dhar

  3. Ricky…good word and thanks for the encouragement. Prayer is one of those areas that most always feel like they could do more and tend to walk away feeling guilty. Your writing identifies the challenge that many face and its that we are too quick to put our hand to the plow and look back. We read a book, listen to a message, get excited and respond. Which isn’t a bad thing but our fuel for the response is short lived and is extinguished too easily.

    Might our excitement be refined through prayer so that our heart and motives are revealed when they are held in contrast to the cross.

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