Double Minded & Unstable

I’m trying to understand prayer. I mean I get prayer but I guess what I mean is I’m trying to understand the life I live around prayer.

I’ve been reading through James over and over this week and I read this passage a few times.

If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. Such a person is a double-minded and unstable in all they do.

A few months ago our church started raising money for a Christmas Project we were doing. Our admin assistant is responsible for logging donations and informing our book-keeper of which accounts received which funds. I asked her to pass tell the book-keeper about this new project and to start a new account for it. She of course said she would but when I didn’t see an email about it I decided if it was going to get done I probably needed to do it myself. I sent our book-keeper an email, copied our admin in on it and thought “good thing I’m here.” Then I received a response that said “thanks Andy. We already knew about this — your admin told us yesterday.”

I have a problem. I do this kind of thing all the time. I ask people to do things for me but then I get nervous they won’t get done or they won’t get done the way I think they should and so after I ask the person for their help I go and do it anyway. I like to think this is because I’m VERY responsible but you might actually think that means I’m VERY controlling or VERY worried or VERY crazy.

Ultimately it seems that I don’t trust anyone else as much as I trust myself — I’m afraid that too often that’s how I interact with God as well.

As I was reading this passage this morning I started thinking about my prayer life. I’m not afraid to ask God for things. I believe that He alone provides and like James says later in this chapter “every good and perfect gift is from above.” I’ll ask boldly but soon after asking I take the issue back into my own hands and try to produce what I’ve just asked God to do. I like to say I’m VERY responsible but I’m realizing that it really shows a lack of trust or a lack of hope in God and too much trust and too much hope in myself.

I’m double minded and unstable.

Let me tell you the end of the story with my admin assistant. After all those emails went back and forth I got a text from her that said “U doubt me? I saw the email :)” Whoa. It was sent in good fun but the truth is I did. I doubted her and it was silly because I actually believe she’s more responsible than I am in matters like these. I can only imagine the texts I’d get after my prayers where I ask God to do what I believe only he can do and then I immediately try to do it myself.

I’m trying to learn to ask and wait. I’m trying to learn to pray and believe God will answer. I’m trying to really recognize what God is responsible for and let Him be responsible. Like everything the only way this is possible is with His help.

Originally published at on January 23, 2015.