I can tend to be a shoot first and ask questions later type of person. I started my own business at 16, got married at 18, owned several other businesses by my early twenties and nearly got divorced by then too. The problem with doing whatever seems right at the moment is that mistakes are easier to make than they are to clean up. I'm in my thirties now and still cleaning up debt from some bad business and finance decisions. And only by the grace of God am I still enjoying the wonderful wife He blessed me with at 18. If I had just followed my own quick decisions I'd be divorced and I'd still be trying to clean up that mess too.
The fact that I can be so quick to take action isn't always bad though. Many times it has helped me do something that others may not do because they get to wound up with worry or fear. I don't usually have that problem. When I have an idea I usually think that it will work so I'm not afraid to give it a try. This confidence can translate quickly to independence. When I say independence I mean that I believe I can do things without spending time with God ro get ready or depending on His help. It's like "Hey, God gave me this mind and these ideas so I'm taking action and assuming He's going to be with me." With this type of mentality I don't really have much time or need for prayer. Why pray about it when I can be doing it instead? Besides do I really need to plead with God to help me do something that helps others? Probably not, after all He loves people more than I do.
Well I've had an epiphany about my stupidity. I realize that even though some of my outreach activities have been fruitful I've been doing things the hard way. I've been chopping down trees with a dull ax.
I thought praying was about begging God to do something that He already wanted to do anyway and it seemed like a waste of time. But now I realize that it's not about twisting God's arm, it's really about humility. It's about coming to God and saying "I'm a doer and I want to get things done. I'm coming to you because I know that there is nothing that I can do with this time that would help me get the job done more than asking for your help and waiting on you. God even if I know what you want me to do I am waiting for your strength and wisdom and your presence to help me get it done."
As the old saying goes "If I had an hour to chop down a tree, I'd spend 45 minutes sharpening my ax." Even if some trees finally fell down I've been swinging a dull blade. I'm going to spend time in prayer with the ax maker and letting Him get me ready before I swing myself into things.
My new life is a prayer life. Not because I believe that I have to convince God to do something good. Not because I believe I have to convince Him to care about people. And not because I don't want to take action and be productive. But because I realize that waiting on His presence and power is the most productive thing I can do.