Truly prayer changes things, yet, lasting personal transformation does not come from faith alone – we must also put our faith into action.
Faith is not magic
Every night from age 12 through high school, my bedtime prayer was to grow two feet overnight and wake-up height/weight proportionate. Then I prayed my obesity would be linked to a medical finding – as though having a disorder would make the extra 100+ pounds reasonable.
At that time, I saw my body as broken even while my life, as a whole, was pretty good.
I know God can heal; I have seen it in small ways in my own life. I’ve never heard a testimony of miraculous reversal of obesity, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t possible. So, I prayed and prayed for my body to be different so I could begin living a better life.
But those weren’t the prayers that were finally answered.
Listen to the ultimate life coach
God asks us to put some skin in the game. We must participate with God to reach our divine purpose.
The Bible offers many examples of faith in action.
One such example is the story of the healing of the paralytic. As Jesus walked through a crowd at a healing pool, he encountered a paralyzed man who had been ill for 38 years and was confined to a mat.
“When Jesus saw him lying there and knew he had been in that condition for a long time, he said, ‘Do you want to be well again?’
‘Sir,’ replied the sick man, ‘I have no one to put me into the pool when the water is disturbed; and while I am still on the way, someone else gets down there before me.’
Jesus said, ‘Get up, pick up your sleeping-mat and walk around.’
The man was cured at once, and he picked up his mat and started to walk around.” (John, 5:6-9)
Here, Jesus is the ultimate life coach. He does not offer sympathy for our physical condition, he questions why we let it stop us from living the fullness of our divine design.
How to begin the challenge of a lifetime
Faith alone can’t reveal our purpose if we choose to remain paralyzed.
We all have mats, obstacles trapping us in our circumstance, that prevent us from seeing a way forward.
Unlike the physically paralyzed man in the story, our paralysis is often rooted in fear that moving toward our purpose will be too painful to sustain.
Fear freezes us to our mats.
In my case, picking up my mat meant walking into a Weight Watchers meeting then following the program to the letter. I was afraid of what I might have to give up, but I knew I couldn’t stay stuck any longer.
I quickly discovered the process, though challenging, was full of joy.
Make lasting transformation possible
Today, faith is hot air filling the balloon I created. It lifts me up and carries me along on each next step of this journey.
Before taking action, I treated prayer like it was magic. I asked for a miracle but offered nothing in return. I didn’t realized the incredible journey I would have missed. The journey that has be the true transformation of my life.
When I put my faith into action my prayer changed. Now I utter a simple heart felt request,
“Lord, bless my efforts.”
This short prayer is my promise that I will carry my mat and never expect a miracle if I am unwilling to work myself. I don’t need an immediate result from my actions to know my efforts will be multiplied.
Faith is an incredibly powerful force but we must put faith into action. Taking those first steps is the key to releasing the barriers keeping us from our divine design, live fully, and make the way more joyful for others.