To glorify something is to throw your entire weight into that particular thing, and it’s also to say to the world that it is critical to your existence. When you glorify something, you’re telling other people, ‘This is giving me meaning and value and affirmation.’ So if God already has all the glory: it only makes sense to glorify Him. It’s the single most important thing you could do with your life.
Does God answer petitionary prayers? If so then how does He go about answering them? It seems like the most obvious thing to do is get up and do something about it instead of praying to God about it. Petitionary prayer almost seems like an unnecessary waste of time when it is so much more efficient to get up and do something. Also it seems like God would have more reasons to not answer our prayers given our sinful nature.
Like Forrest Gump once said: I think it’s both.
I often see a false dichotomy between two biblical ideas that, plainly speaking, says more about our un-nuanced black-and-white 3 lb. brain than anything about the Bible. When my stupid human categories can’t fit something, I tend to run to one extreme or another. It leads to wildly unbiblical conclusions.
We do this with a ton of stuff:
– Predestination Vs. Free Will
– My Politics Vs. Your Politics
– Effort Vs. Legalism
– Grace Vs. Truth
– Receiving the Rebellious Vs. Religious
– Evangelism Vs. Discipleship
– Technology/Fog Machines Vs. Hipsters/Beards
People often are incapable of holding two extremes in balance together, but this is exactly what the Christian is meant to do: to hold such amplitudes in tension that a third unpredictable way is created. It’s almost never either/or, but usually both/and. This is why most mature Christians have hard-to-pin political views and theological opinions — because no Christian should ever be a carbon copy clone.
All that to say: Prayer is just as much trusting God as it is moving forward into where God is working. There is NO false split between prayer and action. The godly person prays AND acts.
It’s like the single girl who is patiently waiting for a man to fall out of the sky. Patience doesn’t mean “Let go and let God.” It also means getting into a scene where meeting a godly guy is more likely to happen: and that’s totally okay.
We are active participants in the Story of God, and we’re called to ask just as much as we’re called to act.
If you read verses like Philippians 4:6 about prayer and petition, there is a ton of context that sandwiches these verses which talk about action. Prayer is our conduit to the Giver of all our strength to move from step to step: to be thankful, to repent, to learn, to be restored to what is better.