Some Christians seek guidance for the smallest daily decisions. If you want to know whether to buy a brand of toothpaste, God would say to you, “Just be sure to brush every day.” There are certain things we don’t need His explicit guidance for, because we already know to do them by what we read in His Word.
Recently, I was in Turkey near the border of Iraq, praying about how World Challenge might help in the refugee crisis. People were fleeing the violent persecution by ISIS and flooding into the area, but the U.N. wasn’t present to provide any order. The need was overwhelming as desperate people arrived with nothing but the clothes they wore. I talked to one young boy who had seen his parents blown up by an ISIS landmine. I couldn’t imagine the trauma this child had been through.
On the flight home I prayed, “Lord, would you have World Challenge provide help here?” I immediately felt a holy conviction surging through me, saying, “Why are you praying about this? You know to help!” I realized, “Of course World Challenge is supposed to be here. We have the hope of the gospel, and we will pray in God’s resources to help. That has always been this ministry’s DNA. Feed the hungry? Bring comfort to the suffering? Make a difference in an orphan’s life? Why do I need to pray? Let’s go!”
“For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me” (Matthew 25:35-36, ESV). Make no mistake, I believe in prayer for guidance. But because we are God’s sheep and we know His voice, there are certain things we know to do. One of them is this: “Pure and genuine religion in the sight of God the Father means caring for orphans and widows in their distress and refusing to let the world corrupt you” (James 1:27, NLT).