“But we prayed to our God–and posted a guard day and night to meet this threat!”
~ Neh 4:9
We are in danger of making prayer a substitute for duty; or of trying to roll over on God, the burden of caring for us and doing things for us–while we sit still and do nothing! When we pray to be delivered from temptation–we must keep out of the way of temptation, unless duty clearly calls us there. We must also guard against temptation, resist the Devil, and stand firm in obedience and faith. When we ask God for our daily bread, pleading the promise that we shall not lack–we must also labor to earn God’s bread, and thus make it ours honestly.
A lazy man came once and asked for money, saying that he could not find bread for his family. “Neither can I!” replied the industrious mechanic to whom he had applied. “I am obliged to work for it!”
While we pray for health–we must use the means to obtain it.
While we ask for wisdom–we must use our brains and think, searching for wisdom as for hidden treasure.
While we ask God to help us break off a bad habit–we must also strive to overcome the habit.
Prayer is not merely a device for saving people from toil, struggle and responsibility. When there is no human power adequate to the need–we may ask God to work without us, and in some way He will help us. But ordinarily WE must do our part, asking God to work in and through us, and to bless us through faithful obedience.
“I labor, struggling with all His energy, which so powerfully works in me!”
~ Colossians 1:29