“Pray as though everything depended on God. Work as though everything depended on you.”
— St. Augustine
This quote by St Augustine has made its rounds in various forms throughout the years since Augustine first wrote it back in the 4th century. However, the truth of it has never wavered.
I have periodically shared this quote with folks, but usually in the context of encouraging them to do the work necessary and not simply wait on the Holy Spirit to take care of whatever situation or task they are doing.
In this case, though, I am taking the opposite tact and asking are you praying enough in light of the work you are doing, or getting ready to attempt?
This is particularly true during summer, that traditional time of the year when most churches are doing their planning for the upcoming school year.
I am experiencing that time myself, as I am evaluating what went well this last year, and looking ahead to the possibilities of the year ahead. And each time that I have some “great idea” or discover a “solution”, I always have to remind myself to pause and add it to my prayer intentions. Why?
So the ideas and solutions that have come to the fore can be “tested” in the light of God’s wisdom.
Too often in my life, I have rushed ahead with what I think is a God-inspired idea or a solution to a particular problem or situation, but then later, it becomes apparent that was not the case. Rather, what does becomes clear is that the idea was simply my idea, and not God’s idea.
Over the years, I have discovered that the most important activity that I can do after developing a plan or solution, is to come before God with intentional prayer and sacrifice regarding those ideas, and then spend time listening to God the best that I am able to discern if there needs to be some adjustments.
So now it’s only after this time of prayer and sacrifice that I will then move forward with a plan.
I can honestly say that because of my “all in” personality once I make a decision, this has been (and still is!LOL) an extremely difficult practice to be attentive to, particularly in our “results oriented” world that rarely gives time to do the work, let alone pray about and for it.
I can attest to the effectiveness of this though, and I strongly encourage each of you to make your work supernatural too, by bringing God into the midst of each and every part of it.
By cultivating the practice of prayer and sacrifice in the midst of our tasks, we open ourselves up to building with, and upon God’s grace and wisdom, rather than merely our own limited human capacities and efforts.
And it’s God’s grace and wisdom that can transform what simply used to be work into something truly and beautifully supernatural.