At my monthly pastor's prayer meeting one of the other pastors brought up a point that I had never really considered. God never acts without prayer being done first. James was talking about the fact that prayer is so vitally important to how God works, and how we need to really stress prayer as a godly act. When God's people pray, things happen, and happen in a big way. As we want and desire to see God work and perform miracles, we need to start the process with prayer.
And this line of thinking had me reviewing what I know of in the Bible. I cannot think of a single time that God acted or performed a miracle in the Bible where prayer did not happen first. Eve's creation? Started with Adam seeking God. Moses saving the Israelites? He prayed first. Any of Jesus' actions? Even He prayed. It's not that God can't do things without us, and it's not that we "convince" God to act. But He wants to see that we really do want Him. God wants to know that we are seeking and looking for Him to work. Sometimes He withholds His blessings, favor, and actions until we ask Him for them.
Think about that the next time you are waiting on God to do something in your life. Have you prayed first? And the next time something unexpected happens that can only come from God, think about who has been praying for you.