Equal to the Task

It’s easy to get overwhelmed.

With all the demands on our time, energy and abilities it’s hard not to feel like at some point we’re going to let somebody down. For the Christian, perhaps this is especially difficult because we know that we are to be spending our time, our energy and our abilities reflecting Christ. When the opportunities seem to surpass our availability, it can be stressful. We might feel as Mother Teresa did when she famously said, “I know God won’t give me anything I can’t handle. I just wished He wouldn’t trust me so much.”

However, as Phillip Brooks reminds us maybe it’s not that our abilities are too small, but that our prayers are too weak. As he states, “Do not pray for tasks equal to your powers. Pray for powers equal to your tasks. Then the doing of your work shall be no miracle, but you yourself shall be the miracle.”

In other words, while we marvel at all that some people are able to accomplish for the cause of Christ, we forget that the source of their fortitude was not themselves. They were spurred on, energized, and motivated by the Holy Spirit. The same Spirit that is able to change the hearts of men can work through us to accomplish the tasks God has set before us. Bu we need to petition Him for His strength.

So let us not shirk the tasks that God has set before us. But let our prayers be equal to the work that God has called us to. If the work is great, may our prayers be as well.

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