Finding the balance between confidence and dependence on God is an ever challenging experience. One one hand, we know that God has given us the ability to control many aspects of our lives. He has given us time, intellect and the ability to make choices. But because of our tendency to procrastinate, we find ourselves cramming at the last minute though we had all the provisions to do our part. The last option will be praying for some divine intervention. And that sometimes affects how we pray and what we pray for. I wrote the hyperbole below to illustrate what it is like to not do your part and ask God for intervention.
School Life Prayers
1. At the beginning of the semester, "Lord, I promise to work hard."
2. In the middle of the semester, "Please forgive my procrastination (laziness)."
3. A week before final exam, "Please impress the teacher to prepare easy questions."
4. Two days before final exam, "Please help me understand what I am reading."
5. On EXAM day, "Please help me make the right guess."
5. After EXAM, "Please give that mean teacher a kind heart when he checks my papers."
6. After the GRADE is released, "I hope that mean teacher gets what he deserves."
[A very loud AMEN by classmates]
PRAYER CHANGES THINGS, but it is not a SHORTCUT to avoid duty or responsibilities.
Though God has given us the opportunity to pray about anything, whether our prayer will be heard or not has preconditions.
Our prayers should be offered with a clean heart. There should be no selfish or evil intention in them.
Create in me a clean heart, O God,
And renew a steadfast spirit within me.
Psalm 51:10 NKJV
Prayer is not a substitute for hard work. For our daily accomplishments, God wants us to do our part. "Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men" (Colossians 3: 23, ESV). The only thing we can't do for ourselves is salvation. We can't save ourselves from sin through our good works. Only Christ's righteousness will save us from sin and the consequence of sin. "For it is by grace you have been saved through faith, and this not from yourselves; it is the gift of God, not by works, so that no one can boast" (Ephesians 2: 8 & 9, BSB).
Under what circumstances should you claim or solicit God's intervention to do His miracles? What is the balance between doing your part and asking God for a miracle?
Is there anything in your life that is beyond your capability to solve and you want God to intervene? Why don't you take a moment to scribble your prayer? Ask Him also to give you strength if there is something lacking on your side of the equation.