“Put your trust in God, my boys, and keep your powder dry!” This maxim for soldiers in battle is attributed to Oliver Cromwell but according to Wikipedia is from an 1834 poem by William Blacker. Yes, soldiers should pray (and most do) but they should also do what soldiers are supposed to do.
Working hard without much praying reveals our lack of faith. Praying hard without putting forth much effort exposes our laziness. I’ve erred both ways. As a preacher I’ve known times where I’ve realized I stood before the congregation to preach without giving the situation as much prayer as I should have. There’s been other times I’ve prayed real hard because I hadn’t worked on the sermon real hard!
It’s not a matter of balancing prayer and our own personal effort. It’s a matter of going all out with both, praying as if it all depends on God and working as if it all depends on us.
Oswald Chambers wrote that we should establish “the habit of recognizing God’s provision for us.” Along with this habit we should establish the habit of making a good effort.
We’re to both trust and try, trust in the Lord and try ourselves. It’s like walking; it’s best if you use both legs. A step of faith is also a step of putting forth effort; it’s the only way you can take a step of faith.
“Trust in the Lord and do good…” (Psalm 37:3)