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Praying and Working

By Greg Laurie

They all made plans to come and fight against Jerusalem and throw us into confusion. But we prayed to our God and guarded the city day and night to protect ourselves. 

Nehemiah 4:8–9

Sometimes, in the name of spirituality, people are not spiritual at all. Let’s say, for example, that you don’t have a job, and you’re praying that God will give you one. It’s good to pray, of course. But you also need to submit your résumé to as many places as possible and pray over each one.

There’s a place for the spiritual and a place for the practical. We miss that sometimes. As Nehemiah set out to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem, he was praying, but he also was practical and prepared. In Nehemiah 4:9 we read, “But we prayed to our God and guarded the city day and night to protect ourselves” (NLT).

In Nehemiah’s story, we see, among other things, how the practical and the spiritual go hand in hand. We see in Nehemiah how to plan our work and then how to work our plan.

When David faced Goliath, he said, “This is the Lord’s battle, and he will give you to us!” (1 Samuel 17:47 NLT). But David also put a stone in his sling and started swinging it. The stone hit Goliath in the forehead, and he fell to the ground. David prayed—and he took action.

Nehemiah and the others prayed as they were rebuilding Jerusalem’s walls, but they were practical as well. They took practical steps and held their course. Nehemiah set up a system. There was a twenty-four-hour guard in place, and if anything happened, if there was any problem, they were to sound a trumpet. Nehemiah 4:18 tells us that “All the builders had a sword belted to their side. The trumpeter stayed with me to sound the alarm” (NLT).

We need to finish what God has called us to do. And we need to do it with passion and persistence.



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