God is NOT a Divine Vending Machine

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Prayer is an essential part of our relationship with God. Every relationship requires communication, after all, and prayer is the way in which we communicate our praise, thanksgivings, and troubles to God. Prayer helps us to discern God’s will for our lives, and it strengthens us to do what God wants from us.

Sometimes, though, we really miss the point of prayer.

It’s not “insert prayer, receive request”. God isn’t a Divine Vending Machine, y’all. We have this idea, for some reason, that what we pray for is just going to drop out of the sky, all wrapped up with a nice pretty bow on top of it. That just isn’t how it works! Know why?

Sometimes, we really miss the place of prayer.

Yes, God always hears us and He does answer our prayers. But sometimes His answer is, “Get your butt out of this pew and go DO SOMETHING.” God uses YOU to answer prayers.

You want peace in the world? Go work for it. You want world hunger to end? Get out there and feed the hungry. You want the homeless to have a place to go? Help them find a shelter, open one, or open your own doors to them. If you want to end abortion, then reach out to the woman who is in need of your love and compassion.

“If a brother or sister has nothing to wear and has no food for the day, and one of you says to them, ‘Go in peace, keep warm, and eat well,’ but you do not give them the necessities of the body, what good is it? So also faith of itself, if it does not have works, is dead.” 

-James 2:15-17

WE are called to be the hands and feet of Jesus Christ in the world. God acts through me and you — WE are the way He alleviates suffering, comforts the afflicted, and changes the world. YOU just might be the answer to someone’s unanswered prayer.

Pray without ceasing for the strength to do what God is calling you to do! But then don’t forget to go out and do it.

About acatholicteenapologist

I am a Catholic teenager who loves to share the truth of the Catholic Faith with others.

Posted on December 3, 2013, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. I hope you had a blessed St. Francis Xavier’s feast day today!
    As to your post, I agree wholeheartedly. But I would also like to just be a little reminder for those who have a zeal to do all these things and go out to do them…sometimes God’s answer isn’t to go. He says, “Stay. Stay with me, and I will send you when I need you to go.” We tend to either be over zealous thinkers (who don’t actually do anything) or over zealous doers (who tend to skip the part of prayer where we ask God what *His* will is and just go follow our own plan to save the world). Like St. Francis Xavier (he’s my patron, what can I say :) ), who really, really, really wanted to be sent on a mission, God might be calling us to wait. He wanted so badly to go out to the world and bring souls to Christ. While his intentions were pure, he needed to slow down, ask God what was wanted of him and then, and only then, do it.
    Great post, as always! Thank you and God Bless!

    • Thanks for the comment, Hope! You’re absolutely right — there’s a danger of doing nothing when we are called to do something, but there is also a danger of acting without first seeking to know God’s will.

      By the way…good choice for a patron saint :)

      God bless!
      -Taylor

  2. I am really glad, for what you wrote. I am originally from Slovakia, living in Canada for 20 years now. I know our Church is helping lot, but there is so much need everywhere I look. It makes me sad, that many Catholics do not understand, that they are hands and feet of Christ- mainly people, that are wealthy, those who have plenty of free time, those who have energy and many times are to bored with their lives. The indifference here is so deadly. People do not hear or see the poor, suffering and hungry. My experience is very sad- I was never noticed as a stranger , people from my church never reached out to me, never got it , that I am alone. My husband for 18 years is disabled and suffers with mental and physical illnesses. I am his caretaker and we have 4 children. I have no family on this continent and his family abandoned him, despite they are rich. We are poor, living of his disability . i used to have a part time job, but I lost it few month ago. We never went for any family vacation, I didn’t see my Mom for 15 years- do not have money for anything. I am not visible for believers in my church. Nobody gets it. Sharing with my husband his cross alone is hard. I do not have friends, neither he does. People are not willing to journey with mental illness and believe they are doing enough. There are people around me, that throw money around foolishly and have private coaches for fitness, own 3 houses and shop till drop-in my own church. It hurts. When I get courage sometimes and state to someone my situation- they do not take it as seriously, as it is, or say , they call later- but it is all just excuses. There is no love here, no care, no following Christ’s teaching. Just following world and their own selfishness. Do good Samaritans exist today? No for me for last 20 years. Because I suffer with another human, church and society treats me as a leper.I AM PUNISHED, BECAUSE i DID STAY WITH THE SICK PERSON. Everybody is just avoiding me…My children suffer from it too They have no opportunities in life and their are so bright children. They have not enough healthy food, because we are poor- so how can they be healthy for the future? i CARRY ALL of THE RESPONSIBILITIES OF THIS FAMILY ON MY SHOULDERS alone
    When Jesus said; I WAS HUNGRY- and you did not give me food, etc. – wasn’t he gravely serious? WILL he know in the end those who did not recognize Him in poor and sick TODAY?He said clearly what will happen to those who did not love Him.
    In this situation I am not alone, there are many, many families abandoned. Government doesn’t help, church doesn’t help, community doesn’t either.
    British Columbia has the worst poverty in the whole Canada. 1 in 5 children are poor and in single mother’s families – every second family is poor! In the 21-century- in the wealthy nation as Canada is! It is horrible! And there is the biggest differences between poor and wealthy in this province too! I live here and I cry to God daily. People have hearts from stones. Just imagine, that how horrible it is, that people, that overeat, go on the diet spend enormous amount of money for this ,while others are starving and can’t pay rent. People need dignity, but greedy people do not want to look at others and love them! James 2;15-17. GOD IS NOT PLEASED!
    The greatest solvable problem in the world is HUNGER. Half of what American spend on dieting would end hunger in 60 million African households!/ real stats./
    Pope Francis understands what true love is and he lives it daily, as every saint did. Love is the solution, not indifference and being lukewarm. That kills lives.
    Please, write about this, lies what people in Canada and America believe and live according enemy, not following Christ, how Catholics, need to discern, pray for wisdom, compassion ,love and live it daily.They have to die to themselves,their worldly lifestyle, take God seriously and REACH OUT DAILY to poor, sick, unwanted,hungry, abandoned in humility of Christ, not as the better ones, that just throw some leftovers to Christ in needy- but as real brothers and sisters. To believe that one loves enough and does enough is a lie. Need for love and support is huge. FAKING Christianity just gives bad name to church and God and brings bad results. Write please, about the true obedience, humility,repentance, desire to follow Lord, carrying crosses of others- DAILY , NOT AS A PART TIME JOB.
    Tell people not to build their kingdoms, but God’s kingdom- His way.That means pray deep , properly, listening to Lord’s LEADING. The good sign is this- if my prayer does’t change my life and my yesterday is same as tomorrow- I am praying wrongly- just with lips, God has to change me with His grace- it is painful, but living in selfishness is more horrible. The great resource is discerninghearts.com- people will love it and grow spiritually- go there daily. That website is God;s gift for Catholics of all walks. Try and taste and do not leave- you have so many resources there, that will last to the end of your life on earth.
    And tell them one more thing; IF YOU ARE IN LOVE WITH CHRIST- it is a great sign on your walk with Him, if you are not, ask Him to grant it to you- without it is not possible to follow Him properly. Your heart needs to burn with fire of the Holy Spirit.
    We can’t sit on two chairs- those who love themselves and stuff, food, clothes, properties, positions,money, etc- can’t love God . So, please, tell people to take a good look at their hearts’ treasure and what they worship. God asks us, that He is the First and we have to love Him most , not His gifts.
    Keep writing about important issues, to open hearts of many to see and follow the King. They will never regret it, even it will cost them their lives. He died for His bride, to show the way. Bride needs to answer with her love for her Savior. Thank you

    • Iva–

      Thank you for your comment! What you have said brings up a very important issue — there is great need, but there are often few people actually helping. You have brought up some important issues that you wish for me to write about. I will pray about them and see what I can say.

      Merry Christmas, and may God bless you!

      -Taylor

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