Psalms 132-134; 1 Corinthians 11:17-34
A recently widowed woman wants to remain in the house where she and her husband raised their children. Because she lives alone, she purchased a home alarm system. Now she feels hypocritical when she prays for protection. But she need not feel guilty. In the Bible, wise planning and humble dependence on God go hand-in-hand.
Nehemiah provides us with a biblical illustration of how to combine planning with prayer. He was a Jew far from home, working as cupbearer to the king of Persia. After the nation of Israel had been in captivity for 70 years, Cyrus, the first Persian king, allowed a number of Jews to go back home. Later, Ezra took more Jews back to Jerusalem and rebuilt the temple. In the first chapter of Nehemiah, though, we read that the returned captives were having a terrible time, and the walls of the once great city of Jerusalem lay in ruins (v.3).
Nehemiah wept, fasted, and prayed when he heard about the distress of the Jews who had returned to Jerusalem from exile. But he also acted, making careful plans and taking a great risk in asking the king for permission to help the Jews.
So too, if we maintain a humble dependence on God, it’s wise to do what we can. So pray—and plan!
Faith does not rule out common sense
In facing life each day,
But takes it by the hand and says,
“We’ll trust, we’ll plan, we’ll pray!” —DJD
The best plans begin and end with God.