To be willing to co-operate with God means we are willing to be the answer to our own prayers. Commenting on the petition in the Lord’s Prayer that the Kingdom come and God’s will be done, Underhill writes: “It’s useless to utter fervent petitions for that Kingdom to be established and that Will to be done, unless we are willing to do something about it ourselves” (p. 87).
This is the spirit of Isaiah who heard God’s call for someone to co-operate in confronting the sin of Israel and said, “Here am I Lord, send me.”
This is the spirit of St. Francis of Assisi who felt in his heart the profound desire of God to bring peace, and responded, “Lord, make me an instrument of your peace.”
Of course, there are times when what we pray for can only happen through the efforts of someone else—times when what we pray for can only come to pass through the direct work of God. But there are many times when we can be involved in bringing the things we pray for to pass.
This is the spirit of Frank Laubach, who included in his morning prayers each day this question, “God, what are you doing in the world today that I can help you with?”