Prayer and Work

Nehemiah 4:9

But we prayed to our God and posted a guard day and night to meet this threat.

Nehemiah encountered numerous problems when he attempted to rebuild the wall around Jerusalem.  One of them was the constant threat of attack from people who didn’t want the wall rebuilt.

Like in other situations, Nehemiah responded first by praying.  But Nehemiah doesn’t stop with praying.  He then does something to protect himself and the other people.

We often treat prayer as an end to all of our problems and expect God to take care of everything.  Many times God responds to our prayers with guidance and instruction on how to handle things ourselves.  Often God has already given us what we need, we just need to know where to look or what to do.

While God answers our prayers, there is human responsibility involved as well.  For instance, we may pray for God to keep us safe but we should also avoid playing in traffic.  We should never put God to the test and expect Him to do something that we can do for ourselves.

When we pray, we can trust God for an answer.  Sometimes the answer comes as a response that He has already given us everything that we need.  Sometimes He wants us to take the first step and He’ll take care of the rest.  Praying to God does not mean that we’re excused from using common sense or doing what we can to make things happen.

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