Pray Like It Depends On God Work Like It Depends On You

Where do you fall in the following two categories? Most people either pray like it depends on God and then do nothing or they work like it depends on them and never pray. I think it was author, pastor, and blogger Mark Batterson who I first heard say “work like it depends on you and pray like it depends on God.”

I like the idea of that. Praying because you want to see things happen that you know only God can do. I’ve got a few of those prayers. But far too many people pray and then don’t put any action to their prayers. Or on the other end of the spectrum far too many people work hard and then take all the credit for what God does.

Here’s some examples of how to pray like it depends on you and work like it depends on God…

  • If you are single – you pray that God helps you make wise choices as you wait. You ask for wisdom and strength not to settle or make a poor choice and then you put yourself out there. If I was Christian single and wanted to get married I’d move to Atlanta and start going to North Point Community Church. There are a ton of singles there. If you can’t do that then try a dating service or two. You pray and then take action.
  • If you want kids – this is one that Monica and I went through. For six years we prayed like crazy that God would give us kids. At the same time we tried multiple fertility treatments and then finally IVF. We know others that have tried IVF and haven’t got pregnant. We knew that it was still up to God. We did our part and begged God to do His. We praise God that He allowed us to get pregnant with twins.
  • If you don’t like your job – you can complain about it or you can pray that God gives you a new job as you rework your resume and then send it out to perspective employees.
  • If you have teen who turns away from God – I understand if a parent wouldn’t want to listen to what I have to say because I am not a parent of a teen. But I have worked with teenagers for 14 years and I’ve seen far too many students turn their back on God. Here’s what I do…I pray like a mad man. I beg God to capture their heart. At the same time I invest in them by spending time with them. I want them to know that I care about them no matter what, but I hope that my influence will be positive for them. If I was a parent I’d pray and ask others to pray like crazy, but then I’d spend as much time being with them as I could.
  • If you are going bald – I pray every day that God would regrow my hair as I wash it with Nioxin (supposed to help thinning hair). I put this one in to be funny, but I do pray this every day.
  • If you want better friends – pray for good friends and then invest in people. Eventually someone will stick.

I think the point has been well made. We should pray like it depends on God because it does, but at the same time God has given us a will to work. Line yourself up with God and then do something. Pray like it depends on God and work like it depends on you.

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Rob Shepherd

I am the full-time husband of a wonderful woman! I love being married! We are proud parents to twins, Hayden and Reese. In my spare time I am the pastor of Next Level Church. I have a relationship with God and it is an adventure. Oh and I wrote a book. It's called Even If You Were Perfect Someone Would Crucify You.


  1. Lindsey Brooks
    January 4, 2011

    so true. i think you have to HELP God answer your prayers by being proactive. none of the prophets of old just sat around. john the baptist certainly wasn't passive. why should we be?!

  2. Daniel Carman
    January 4, 2011

    It's funny. I am, by definition, middle-aged, and you would think that as a reasonably mature Christian, that I would kind of have figured out this whole prayer thing. It turns out that I am still learning about prayer. I used to view God as a sort of genie, all I had to do was make a wish, and who knows, I might just get lucky. Now, my prayers are more like humble requests. I trust that He knows what I need and what is best for me better than I do. However, I still kind of sit back and wait for his timing. You suggest a different approach that makes me think.

  3. Mim
    January 4, 2011

    This is a powerful combination. I have often found that action, as an extension of prayer increases my faith and helps me stay focused. Last year, I felt led to give a monetary gift of faith, a small contribution for a childless couple's future children. This Christmas, they are expecting twins. While praying for a husband, I made a major move back to a college campus and started knitting a man's vest before I met the man. When there is something I am really counting on God to do, I ask Him what I can do as well. When I was seeking a job, I made a list of the things I wanted, and then actively made applications. There is no way, I could have found the job that matched my list without God's help; I'm glad I made the list–just to see how amazingly God answers prayers. I see "faith in action" as a way that God is changing, growing, and getting me ready to receive what He is about to give.

  4. Bunch of Barrons
    January 4, 2011

    Great post, Rob. Very true, and a good reminder for me today.

  5. Michelle Marx
    January 5, 2011

    This was just what I needed to hear…thanks, Rob 🙂

  6. Danielle
    January 6, 2011

    Good post, so applicable to my life.


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