It has taken me a lot of years to discover this, but I am finally learning that my efforts to be thrifty and do things myself are not always the most cost-effective ways to get things done.

One week I had some plumbing issues come up in 3 different rental units. I called a friend of mine to see if he could fix things for me. He said yes and set up a time to meet with me. When we got on site at one location, I learned I needed a hot water tank. Looking things over, he saw the age of the tank and said, to spend any money to fix a 26-year-old tank would be a bad move. Even if repaired, I would need to replace the tank soon.

I could have installed the tank myself, but I’m sure I would have had to make several trips to the store. In addition, it would have taken me at least twice as long if I were to do the work myself. While the tank was being installed, I was able to get additional things done, so my time was well spent in other areas. The bottom line is, I was so much more productive when I asked for my friend’s help.

When I thought through my plumbing issues, that week, I had a choice to make. I could have chosen to do the work myself. If I got into the repairs and ran into problems, I’m sure that I could have called my friend and he would have bail me out. However, if I had to call him, that would indicate that things had not gone well for me and was I was, most likely, quite frustrated. At that point, I would have been in crisis mode and shouting out for help. Instead, I chose to call before I started. In doing that, I was able to rest, knowing that I only needed to be available. I could relax in the abilities of my friend. Even though we didn’t get all three problems taken care of that day, I was very content at the end of the day.

Before Jesus, chose His 12 disciples, he went away and prayed to God . . . All night . . . His time of prayer bathed the upcoming action. Even though He was the Son of God, His priority was to call out to His Father before He was in the midst of selecting His closest followers. It was only after that significant time of prayer that He was willing to call out the 12.

As I considered the time Christ took to pray, I realized how short my pattern of prayer falls. Too many times, rather than bathing my day in prayer before it’s started, I find myself shouting out to God in the midst of my agenda. Like calling the plumber after the fact, it’s like I want God to bail me out of my messes. I need to remember that God is to be my plan maker and I am to be available to join Him in what He is already doing. I need to pray and be available.

Lord, good things done in my power is not how you intend me to work. I am to seek you out to accomplish Your agenda. Help me to call on You before my day begins . . . An open slate, focused on your plans, rather than mine. If the priority for Jesus was prayer before action, mine should be so even more!

Luke 6:12 In these days he went out to the mountain to pray, and all night he continued in prayer to God. 13 And when day came, he called his disciples and chose from them twelve, whom he named apostles:

14 Simon, whom he named Peter, and Andrew his brother, and James and John, and Philip, and Bartholomew, 15 and Matthew, and Thomas, and James the son of Alphaeus, and Simon who was called the Zealot, 16 and Judas the son of James, and Judas Iscariot, who became a traitor.  (, ESV)

More than just a BELIEVER in God, I need to be a FOLLOWER of Jesus!