Prayer doesn’t prepare us for the greater work; prayer is the greater work. We think of prayer as a commonsense exercise of our higher powers, as something that gets us ready to do God’s work. In the teaching of Jesus Christ, prayer is the miracle of the redemption at work in me—a miracle which, by the power of God, produces the miracle of the redemption in others: “I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last” (John 15:16). It’s true that my prayer produces lasting fruit, but I must remember that it is prayer based on the agony of the redemption, not on my agony.

Prayer doesn’t prepare us for battle; prayer is the battle. It doesn’t matter where we are nor how God has engineered our circumstances; our duty is to pray. Never allow the thought, “I’m of no use where I am.” You certainly can be of no use where you’re not. Wherever God has dumped you down, pray to him—pray all the time. Most of us won’t pray unless it gives us a thrill, which is the most intense form
of spiritual selfishness. We have to work according to God’s direction; and he says, simply, pray.

“Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth laborers into his harvest” (Matthew 9:38 kjv). There’s nothing thrilling about a laboring person’s work, but it is the laboring person who makes the conceptions of the genius possible. In the same way, the laboring disciple makes the conceptions of the Master possible. You may not see the fruits of your prayer immediately, but from God’s viewpoint there are results all the time. What an astonishment it will be to find, when the veil is lifted, how many souls have been reaped by you simply because you were in the habit of taking your orders from Jesus Christ.

Wisdom from Oswald

We are only what we are in the dark; all the rest is reputation. What God looks at is what we are in the dark—the imaginations of our minds; the thoughts of our heart; the habits of our bodies; these are the things that mark us in God’s sight.  The Love of God—The Ministry of the Unnoticed, 669 L