I have been preaching on prayer for a month now. So my church is probably surprised I would suggest they stop praying. Yet what I mean is that there some prayers we continue to lift up that really call us to stop talking to God about and take action ourselves. Dietrich Bonhoeffer once said that prayer can become procrastination because many people just do not want to take responsibility and act for their own good. Many times it is easier to just keep praying rather than step up and do what we know needs to get done. Like the finances of a local church. The answer is always found in becoming a tithing congregation, that is, where the members give what the Bible tells us to give - 10% of what God has already given us. Just imagine the huge difference in the church where I serve if the people took one step in that direction giving just 1% more of their income this year. If the average household income is $60k in our area, that would be $180k more and we would have a surplus at year's end!
Need a job? Stop praying and schedule another interview. Don't give up on yourself or the process. Need to restore a broken relationship? Don't just pray about it - pick up the phone and call the person today. Want to go to college? Fill out the application, find out what they are looking for and strengthen your portfolio. Take the initiative!
One of my members kept praying that folks would volunteer to improve our church landscaping. Then he got inspired to do more than pray. He organized his Life Group and they recruited 31 people to come remove bushes, trim trees, and shape up the front view of our beautiful church property. They accomplished so much!
So look at your prayer list. Maybe the reason that God has not answered some of your requests is because God knows you can do these without him and he wants you to learn this too. Take action! Don't let your prayer life keep you from exercising your intellect and the energies God has blessed you with already.