[We] receive from Him anything we ask, because we obey His commands and do what pleases Him. 1 John 3:22
"Give us today our daily bread." Do we expect God to deliver three meals a day at our doorstep? God answers our prayer for daily bread, but He expects us to use the strength and skill He gives us. True prayer commits us to action. Prayer without doing God's will is insincere. It displeases God.
When we pray for good health, we should do our part: get the proper rest, food, and exercise. If we ask God to improve our marriage, we should forgive and be patient and considerate. If we ask God to overcome our loneliness, we should be friendly and look for ways to help others. If we pray for world peace, we should be peacemakers wherever we are.
Jesus offers an excellent example of the connection between prayer and action. The night before His death Jesus prayed, "Not My will, but Yours be done" (Luke 22:42). The Father answered Jesus' prayer. Jesus acted out the Father's will. Our Lord did this extremely hard thing because He loves us in an extreme way. As our love for Jesus grows through God's grace given us in Word and sacrament, so will our obedience to God's will and our willingness to be part of God's answer to our prayers.
PRAYER: Our Father, enable us to take whatever action is needed to receive what we ask of You, knowing also that without You we can do nothing. In Jesus' name we pray. Amen.
(Devotions from "The Abundant Life" copyright 1998, CPH. All Rights Reserved. No part of this publication may be printed, reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without prior written permission of Concordia Publishing House. Permission is granted for one-time e-mailing of this link to a friend. For information on other devotional material, please contact CPH at 800-325-3040 or visit CPH at www.cph.org.)