Pray As Though Everything Depended On God. Work As Though Everything Depended On You.

Praying hands
A famous quote often attributed to St. Ignatius and St. Augustine.

I like the title of this article, and let me tell you why. We as people often favor either prayer or action at the expense of the other. I certainly have done this at different stages of my life. There were times when I barely prayed at all, and other times where I prayed all the time but did not take action on a situation. In general, people who don’t believe in God fall into the former camp of prayerlessness, and many people who do pray fall into the latter camp of inaction. We wait for God to manifest healing without changing the lifestyle that made us sick. We ask God to send a us a life partner but don’t go out and meet people. We pray for a job or scholarship without putting in applications. We ask God for help achieving sexual integrity, but we sleep next to our phones, don’t establish accountability, or fill ourselves with the right knowledge to make good decisions.

Biblical Faith In Action

The truth is that God often uses natural processes to bring about a supernatural answer to prayer. It has a name, depending on the situation, like discernment, direction, or providence.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.

PRoverbs 3:5-6

The model of prayer and action working hand-in-hand is a model that runs throughout the Bible. The ancient Hebrews believed God was with them, but that didn’t mean they didn’t have to go out and fight their battles. In the story of Elijah and the famine, the prophet had the poor widow bring him all her empty jars so God could fill them with oil (2 Kings 4). Sometimes the blessings and help come to us right where we are, but oftentimes the invisible hand of God works through our actions and interactions with people.

For the sons of this world are more shrewd in dealing with their own generation than the sons of light

Luke 16:8

Today, let’s remember our need for God and our limitations as people. Let’s not let faith or prayer be an excuse for inaction, which often amounts to a lack of wisdom, in managing our affairs.

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