Wisdom for living: Pray, but work hard!

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By Tope Banso.

God created work; work is not a product of the fall of man. Genesis 2:15 says, “Then the LORD God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to tend and keep it” (New King James Version). This was long before the fall of man.

It is grave ignorance to think that with prayer alone one can make progress in life. As important as prayer is, prayer is not a substitute for hard work. There’s the labour of prayer you must engage in (Acts 1:14, 6:4; Romans 12:12b, Colossians 4:2). But you must also work hard in your office, business, school or whatever is your calling or vocation. You must not be lazy. Proverbs 6:6-11 tells us to learn diligence from the ants (Proverbs 6:6-11).

Prayer alone won’t make a student pass his exams or excel in his academics; every student must study hard. Diligence is a constant in any equation of success. “The diligent will get the upper hand, but slothful men will end as serfs” (Proverbs 12:24 The Moffatt Bible). The New Living Translation says, “Work hard and become a leader; be lazy and become a slave.”

You can’t succeed in life without working hard and working smart. No matter the grace you carry, you must add diligence to it for that grace to make impact. Paul said, “But by the grace of God I am what I am: and his grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain; but I laboured more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me” (1 Corinthians 15:10 King James Version). Paul carried grace but he still had to labour.

He told the Corinthians: “Isn’t it because of my work that you belong to the Lord?” (1 Corinthians 9:1b New Living Translation). He also told the Galatians, “I fear for you. Perhaps all my hard work with you was for nothing” (Galatians 4:11 New Living Translation).

If Paul hadn’t worked hard, he wouldn’t have made all the missionary journeys he made, most times, in unfavourable conditions; he wouldn’t have written all the books of the Bible he wrote.

Paul said this again about his work life: “Are they servants of Christ? I know I sound like a madman, but I have served him far more! I have worked harder…” (2 Corinthians 11:23a New Living Translation). Please note the phrase, “I have worked harder.”

Then Paul went further to highlight all the sufferings he went through – he didn’t wait for a favourable conditions. He who waits for perfect conditions will never get anything done (Ecclesiastes 11:4).
Paul remained steadfast in adversity (2 Corinthians 4:8-9). He fought the good fight, finished the course, and kept the faith (2 Timothy 4:7). He followed the footsteps of Jesus who said, “I have finished the work which You have given Me to do” (John 17:4b New King James Version). Hard work made that possible.

Don’t depend on prayer alone; prayer is not enough. Work with the grace God has given you. Work hard! Work smart! Work and pray!

●●Banso, an Abuja-based minister can be reached via cedarministryintl@yahoo.com,
cedarministryng@gmail.com; on
+2348155744752,+2348033113523; and on WhatsApp No: +2349081295947

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