Pray and Participate

Much to my disappointment, this student relied solely on my definition of the word, as they were too lazy to look up the correct meaning.

Nehemiah 4:1-23

Reference: v.9 But we prayed to our God and posted a guard day and night to meet this threat. (TNIV Bible)

Explore: I was recently tutoring a student with their English assessment.  I am by no means a guru, but I was helping as best I could.  In the piece of writing the student was being asked to analyse, there were many big words.  When read in the context of the piece, I was able to understand their meaning, however, when the student would pluck out a random word that they didn’t understand, I was struggling to come up with a good definition. I bumbled my way through a few explanations, but would always say, ‘To get a clearer understanding maybe we should look it up in the dictionary.’  Much to my disappointment, this student relied solely on my definition, and although there was a dictionary in the building and a reference site accessible on their computer, they were too lazy to look up the correct meaning.  They were happy to ask someone to do the work for them, but not willing to put in their own effort towards their research.

Application: Sometimes I am a bit like this when it comes to my prayer life.  I will spend time in prayer asking God for assistance in particular areas, and yet when it comes to me playing a part in the answer, I’m often too hesitant or busy or lazy to put in my contribution.  I believe that God can do absolutely anything, but often his answer is giving us the resources to participate in the solution.  Just like the student being too lazy to access the full potential of their resources, I can just rest on my prayer and expect God to do it all.  Nehemiah was lazy with his prayer.  When he felt the threat of enemies, he prayed hard, but he also played hard to get.  While he prayed for protection, he also used his resources and equipped his workers with weapons and security.  It is so important for us to pray and rely on God, but we mustn’t forget to look out for the resources that God puts in our hands, and use them to fulfil our prayers.

Prayer:  Say your own prayer for what you need God to do in your life.

What resources has God placed around you to equip you for what is ahead?

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This article was written by Linda Bailey

Linda started theological studies in 1999 in Australia. After working for ten years in various church ministries, she now works as the breakfast producer at 89.9 LightFM - the Christian radio station in Melbourne, Australia. She writes blogs every day about passages she is currently reading in the Bible. Follow her on Google Plus +Linda Bailey or Facebook by clicking the like button on the right of this page.