– William Booth
God Helps Those
The saying that God helps those who help themselves is not in the Bible, but the concept is good because we can’t just pray to God and do nothing. Imagine all the biblical heroes who might have just prayed about something and then did nothing about it, expecting God to do everything. He wants to know if we’re serious enough about something to pray about it but to also do something about it. At least do what you can do and then leave the rest up to God.
Working and Praying
I remember years ago when we had problems with our old church’s heating and air conditioning unit and we could not find the problem, so we started praying while working to find the solution. The solution was much easier than we thought. We were ready to buy a whole new unit but found out there was an internal fuse that had blown; and as a result, the breaker had been tripped. We may have never found the problem if we had not been praying for a solution. God helped us discover the problem, I am sure, but we’d have never discovered the problem if we hadn’t been working to find it.
Work as If
I love the idea that after we pray to God for help about something in particular, we must set about to work to find a God-given solution. Often, when Jesus healed people, He asked them to go and wash in the river (from the spittle) or to go and tell the high priest what had happened and then to do what they said. We should work as if we’re going to fix something but pray as if God will help us find it or fix it. So it is just as William Booth said: “Work as if everything depended upon work and pray as if everything depended upon prayer.”
I love William Booth, the founder of the Salvation Army. He had to depend on prayer for everything, but that didn’t mean he didn’t have to sweat and toil to put this organization together. God expects us to put our hand to the plow because God won’t help us pull the plow unless we are cooperating with Him by working with the plow.