“I prayed for twenty years but received no answer until I prayed with my legs.”
~ Frederick Douglass
Prayer is a very important thing for every Christian. We need to engage in prayer on a regular — dare I say, “daily” — basis. However, for prayer to be effective, we have to include good works because the very nature of prayer begets works. If someone says that he or she prays regularly but you can see nothing good coming from that person, he or she is either a liar or does not know what prayer truly entails. They may be “reflecting” or “meditating” rather than truly praying.
Praying is never selfish. Praying involves action. Always. Even the most contemplative monk or nun who has cloistered himself or herself from the world is still directed outward toward the world. Their prayer would be for others: for safety, security, comfort, consolation or a whole host of other needs. They may never see the people for whom their prayers are directed, yet their prayers are given for the benefit of others.
Prayer opens us up to the possibilities and realities of God in all sorts of ways. Coming to know God on deeper levels,. we find that we are moved to reach out to God in the people in whom He dwells.
Mother Teresa was motivated to help the poorest of the poor because she saw God in each and every person she met. Seeing God, she prayed deeply for “her” people. She ministered to her people. She loved her people. She made sure that her people were able to die with dignity.
That is what “praying with legs” is all about. If our prayer is totally within ourselves and does not move us out of ourselves to others, I would venture to say we are not really praying. If, on the other hand, our prayer is the backbone for our good works, we are not only praying, we are praying as Jesus would want. Prayer that leads us to service truly pleases the Lord.
FAITH ACTION: Make sure that you back your prayer today with good works.