Prayer and Planning are the Two Oars For Your Boat

Prayer and Planning are the Two Oars For Your Boat

Romans 1:9-14 – For God is my witness, whom I serve with my spirit in the gospel of his Son, that without ceasing I mention you always in my prayers, asking that somehow by God’s will I may now at last succeed in coming to you. For I long to see you, that I may impart to you some spiritual gift to strengthen you – that is, that we may be mutually encouraged by each other’s faith, both yours and mine. I do not want you to be unaware, brothers, that I have often intended to come to you (but thus far have been prevented), in order that I may reap some harvest among you as well as among the rest of the Gentiles. I am under obligation both to Greeks and to barbarians, both to the wise and to the foolish.

When I was a kid, I loved going to my aunt’s house. She lived on a small lake, and as kids we spent countless hours every summer swimming, fishing, and boating. Since the lake forbid motorized boats, we had to learn at a young age how to navigate a rowboat. At first, I tried to move the boat by using one oar and quickly realized that I was spinning in a circle and going nowhere. Before long, I got the hang of pulling both oars in unison as the boat roared forward.

When Paul writes to the Romans, he tells them about the two oars of Christian life and leadership – prayer and planning. He has been praying for them and is hoping to visit them to share his plan to extend church planting and evangelism into Spain with their partnership (Romans 15:22-29).

A good leader needs to learn to pull both oars with equal strength in unison. Prayer is how we find God’s will. Planning is how we fulfill God’s will.

How about you?

Are you better at prayer or planning? We each have a natural strength and need to learn from others how to grow in our area of weakness. My wife Grace is stronger at praying, so I help her with planning. I am stronger at planning, so she has helped me with praying. In every way we are better together which explains why God put us in the same boat.

Are you better at prayer or planning? Who do you know that could help you grow in your area of weakness? Who can you help in your area of strength? 

To find the free Romans study guide for individuals and small groups, hear Pastor Mark’s entire sermon series on Romans, or find a free mountain of Bible teaching visit or download the real faith app. 

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