Just because a person should pray for guidance doesn't mean they shouldn't think things through, says famed evangelist the Rev. Billy Graham.
In a syndicated advice column published in the Kansas City Star on Sunday, a person queried Graham about how some of her relatives always resorted to prayer when making a decision.
"My sister and her husband are always praying about decisions they have to make, but I think they just need to use their brains to decide what to do. After all, why did God give us a brain if he didn't expect us to use it?" asked the person.
Graham responded that when trying to reach a decision, praying for God's guidance and using their own minds were not mutually exclusive plans.
"Praying about decisions we need to make doesn't mean we stop thinking about them, not at all. In fact, we should be asking God to help us understand our choices more clearly, and to decide which is best," Graham advised.
"What your sister and her husband are actually doing is seeking God's will as they make decisions, and I commend them for this. After all, we see only part of the picture, but God sees it all. In other words, we may think we have all the facts we need to make a decision, but we don't — not completely."
Graham went on to note that the person's kinfolk "know a very important truth: God's way is always best, and the reason is because He loves us and wants what is best for us."
"God has not left us to muddle through life on our own! He loves us, and He wants to guide us and He will, as we turn in faith to Him and seek His will," continued Graham.
This is not the first time this year that Graham has addressed the importance of prayer. In a devotional published last month, the 97-year-old wrote that a Christian "cannot afford to be too busy to pray."
"A prayerless Christian is a powerless Christian. Jesus Christ spent many hours in prayer. Sometimes He spent the night on a mountaintop in solitary communion with God the Father," wrote Graham in June.
"Prayer is a two-way conversation; it is our talking to God, and His talking to us. As a Christian, you have a Heavenly Father who hears and answers prayer."
According to a November 2015 report by the Pew Research Center, 55 percent of Americans say they pray at least once a day.
"Jehovah's Witnesses remain among the most prayerful religious groups, with fully 90 percent saying they pray daily," noted Pew.
"Large majorities of Mormons (85 percent), members of the historically black Protestant tradition (80 percent) and evangelical Protestants (79 percent) also say they pray every day. Smaller majorities of Catholics (59 percent), Orthodox Christians (57 percent) and Mainline Protestants (54 percent) report praying daily."