Stop Praying

By: Pastor Jarren Rogers

“Pray about everything. Then pray some more. But at some point, we have to quit praying and start acting.”

Mark Batterson

One of my favorite people in the Bible is Moses. I think one of the reasons that I enjoy reading about him so much is that I can relate to the guy. I can’t relate to Moses in the floating-down-the-Nile-killing-an-Egyptian-talking-to-a-burning-bush-splitting-the-Red-Sea aspect of who is. But I can relate to him in the sense that he was human. He made mistakes. He made excuses. He was scared. He was uncertain. And yet God used Moses to lead a rambunctious, unruly group of people.

One of my favorite points in Moses’ life is the moment when God told Moses to stop praying. Do you remember that? No? Let me refresh your memory.

Allow me to move these dusty chairs out of the way so I can set the stage:

The plagues have occurred—frogs hopped, darkness descended, locust swarmed, the Nile bled, and so on. Then came the final plague: the killing of the firstborn. It was with the largest and most tragic plague yet and finally Pharaoh agreed to let the Israelites go. So, Moses leads his people out.

After the last Israelite steps foot out of Israel, Pharoah has a change of heart. So indecisive that Pharoah. So, he mounts a chariot, gathers his army, and storms after the Israelites. The Israelites who are trapped with a raging sea on one side and an angry king on the other, cry out to God.

But Moses hushes them, telling them that they needn’t be afraid. They must be still and trust in God for their deliverance. And then Moses must have said a silent prayer to God. I’m sure it went something like this:

Okay, God. I’m really sticking my neck out for you. The Israelites are freakin’ out and they are looking at me to do something, but I don’t have any tricks up my sleeve. What are you going to do?

I love God’s response to Moses:

Then the Lord said to Moses, Why are you crying out to me? Tell the Israelites to move on. Raise your staff and stretch out your hand over the sea to divide the water so that the Israelites can go through the sea on dry ground’ (Exodus 14:15-16).

We should pray. No doubt about it. In fact, we should pray a lot. But I think sometimes we can tend to use prayer as a form of procrastination. We may still be calling out to God on behalf of our situation and yet God wants us to get moving and split the Red Sea.

Sometimes, God’s response is the same to us as it was for Moses: Why are you crying out to me? Get a move on.

It takes a discerning heart and a sensitivity to the Spirit to know when that time is. But when God says go, it’s time to go.

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