Recently, I was reading some notes from a ministry conference that I attended a while back and came across a quote by Mark Batterson, Lead Pastor for National Community Church in Washington, DC. I’m not sure if it is original to him or if he was quoting someone else, but the substance really struck me.
“Prayer is the difference between the best you can do and the best God can do.”
Why would I want my best when I could experience God’s best? So, why don’t I pray out of my weakness and into God’s strength for his best? Why? Because the flesh has convinced me that I can do it. That I must do it. I have bought into the idolatrous sin of self-trust.
But doesn’t Jesus say, “Apart from me you can do nothing?” Rather, he says that by consciously abiding in him as my perfect righteousness, “I will produce much fruit.” Not may, but will. This is because the power for change and fruitfulness in my life is not me. It is Jesus in and through me by his indwelling Holy Spirit.
So what is the lesson for me? Pray. Confess self-reliance and cry out for supernatural empowering to do in and through me what I cannot do apart from the indwelling power of God. Whether fulfilling a ministry role such as leading or preaching, loving my wife well, discipling my children or producing fruit in keeping with repentance.
Prayer is the difference between the best I can do and the best God can do. So, it’s time to pray for the best. God’s best.