|| Praying Out of Faith-Rest
Recently I was arrested by an utterance of Jesus that I have probably read hundreds of times. Members of the crowd of 5000 that Jesus had fed asked him, “What must we do to do the works God requires?” (John 6:28) Jesus’ reply was not to give them a to-do list of various activities that would be sure to please God, but only to emphasize one thing- “The work of God is this, to believe in the one He has sent.” I was struck by the simplicity and singularity of what Jesus revealed in just a few words. The main work to which we are called is not to “do” for Him but to “believe” in Him. We so often can fall into the mistaken notion that the Christian life or ministry consists of doing certain things for God, busily engaging in various religious activities, when the main thing He wants is for us simply to believe or trust in Him and let the appropriate, God-inspired actions emerge out of that posture.
When you think about it, as we trust in Jesus, such a stance on our part frees and enables Him to do His works through us because such an attitude gets us out of His way and connects us to the One who can do all things. As He plainly taught, we have no power in ourselves to do anything of spiritual consequence without Him. “Apart from me you can do nothing.” (John 15:5)
Prayer is the way in which we express and practice this kind of trust. It is, therefore, not meant to be a frantic, anxious, works-oriented effort or clocking a certain amount of time in prayer activity. Fundamentally it is a resting in God, trusting in His faithfulness, realizing He knows and cares all about the situation we are bringing to Him. Hudson Taylor, a deep man of prayer and faith from the 19th century who founded the China Inland Mission, exemplified this attitude. He would just “roll the burden on the Lord” and often in so doing would sing or whistle his favorite hymn “Jesus, I am resting, resting in the joy of what thou art. I am finding out the greatness of your loving heart.”
This is the same attitude of faith-rest that the author of Hebrews urges us to experience: “Anyone who enters God’s rest also rests from his own work…” (4:10). There is a point in praying where we need to simply trust God with the matter and let Him sort it out in His wisdom and love. King Jehoshaphat and the people of Judah came to that point in their anxiety for the deliverance of their land from an invasion of three enemy armies- “We have no power to face this vast army that is attacking us. We do not know what to do, but our eyes are upon you.” (2 Chron. 20:12). It was that kind of “eyes upon you” prayerful trust that brought the huge victory they experienced because God came into their battle, giving them His strategy and fighting it for them. It was this kind of prayer, coming out of an attitude of faith-rest, that made all the difference in their situation and will do so in ours.
No results. Please search again.