Watch and Pray

"Nevertheless we made our prayer unto our God, and set a watch against them day and night, because of them." (Nehemiah 4:9)

Prayer is a powerful weapon, but the wall-builders in Jerusalem also were careful to set a watch against their enemies "with their swords, their spears, and their bows" (Nehemiah 4:13). They were ready to fight if necessary, but at the same time they were confident that "our God shall fight for us" (Nehemiah 4:20).

This is a sound biblical principle. God expects us to make appropriate use of whatever physical means are available for a needed ministry, rather than to rely simply on prayer and divine miracle. The Lord rebuked those who came asking Him to perform a miracle merely to test Him or to see something curious. "Except ye see signs and wonders, ye will not believe" (John 4:48). Neither does He condone prayer in lieu of work, for "faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone" (James 2:17). The same holds for prayer in lieu of obedience. As Joshua was praying for deliverance from the enemy, "the LORD said unto Joshua, Get thee up; wherefore liest thou thus upon thy face? Israel hath sinned, and they have also transgressed my covenant which I commanded them" (Joshua 7:10-11).

But as prayer without working is dead, so watching and working without prayer are futile. "Ye lust, and have not: ye kill, and desire to have, and cannot obtain: ye fight and war, yet ye have not, because ye ask not" (James 4:2). "Except the LORD build the house, they labour in vain that build it: except the LORD keep the city, the watchman waketh but in vain" (Psalm 127:1).

The biblical principle is not only to watch or only to pray. Both are essential. "Watch and pray," said Jesus, "that ye enter not into temptation" (Matthew 26:41). HMM

The Latest
TESTIMONIALS
What Will Be Your Legacy?
Hello, I'm Eileen Turner, ICR's Chief Financial Officer. As I look back to the days when my children were first interested in science, how I...

NEWS
Planaria Genome Loaded with Design Evidence
The planaria, a type of flatworm, has an amazing capacity to regenerate a new body from just fragments of tissue. Its genome has just been sequenced....

TESTIMONIALS
Teaching Teenage Boys
Hi, I’m Steve Hopper, ICR’s Data Analyst. In just five short years, I’ll have three teenage boys asking teenage questions and thinking...

PODCASTS
Common Design or Common Descent?
Humans’ and chimpanzees’ many similar features are presented as one of the strongest evidences for evolutionary theory. But do these...

NEWS
The Holy Grail of Dinosaurs?
A recent article by a team of paleontologists, led by Hesham Sallam, of Mansoura University, Egypt, claims to have found the Holy Grail of dinosaurs...