I’ve done some stupid things while visiting my in-laws.
The first time I met Jean and Jeannine, I broke their door, their vacuum cleaner, and dropped their camera in the snow. That night I asked Jean for Colette’s hand in marriage. He answered, “I think you should wait longer.” (By longer, I think he meant forever). Sorry Jean.
At my in-laws house, I’ve caused false 911 calls, fallen off motorcycles, and gotten sick on bike rides, but this one tops them all.
At a recent visit, we hugged goodbye and were off. Colette’s parents live on a main road and we had to stop at a store first, which meant we would pass by their house on the way out. We did our shopping and settled into our long drive.
But as we neared their house, Jeannine was standing by the road. Oh that’s nice, she’s waiving goodbye. Wait, she’s not waiving goodbye, she’s waiving to stop, she has something in her hand. So I hit the brakes and pulled over to the shoulder. And into a ditch.
The back tire lifted off the ground as we sat nose deep in the neighbor’s yard. My daughter started to cry. My boys froze in silence. Colette, well, let’s not say what Colette did.
We were five minutes into a ten-hour drive and daddy had driven into a ditch. Now that’s a stupid thing to do.
Here’s another stupid thing – ignoring prayer because you’re busy in ministry. (I’ve done this stupid thing, too). Your wheels get turning and everything’s going so well, so you stop praying. But prayer is where ministry is made. Now by ministry, I mean the work you do to glorify God.
In the Bible, prayer is central to ministry. Jesus prayed before choosing the Twelve. Who would the twelve disciples become? The founding members of the Church that became a worldwide, enduring movement. The Apostle Paul went on his missionary trip as a result of prayer. What difference did Paul make? He wrote most of the New Testament and catalyzed the church planting movement. So this is true—Jesus and Paul’s first ministry was prayer.
While prayer is God’s work in you, prayer is your chief work. It’s easy to make ministry the chief work, but this is backward. Instead, prayer is where ministry is made.
Until you treat prayer as your main ministry, your activities will only be fractionally as powerful and successful as their potential. You may accomplish much on your own, but what if you’re settling for a shadow of what God intends?
So don’t promise God to people, but only give them you. Birth your ministry in prayer and sustain it by prayer. That’s a way to avoid being stupid.