God-Empowered Work

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I am an engineer. My job is to solve difficult problems, the kind that sometimes make you want to bang your head against a wall. But I’ve noticed in the last year or two that I have significantly greater success with those problems when I take them to God in prayer first.

This experience is easy to discount. Maybe today was just the right day with the right train of thought and the right Google-fu to find the answer. But this has happened so consistently lately that it cannot be coincidence. There is also a marked contrast against all the times that I don’t remember to pray which demonstrates it even more.

It goes something like this: While working on my tasks I hit a road block. Something I am unfamiliar with, or something perplexing that shouldn’t be happening. I try to solve it by researching error messages or concepts in order to find the solution. Progress is slow. Frustration is rising. Why can’t I figure this out? Then I remember to pray and ask God to guide my hands and thoughts and reasoning to help me figure it out. And somehow I do. I find the right blog post or StackOverflow question, I think about it from a different angle. The wall is removed. Or at least moved back a bit.

When I pray, I progress. When I stop praying, things may go fine for a while (when there aren’t any new challenges, just things I’ve done many times before), but eventually another engineering problem emerges. By then I am out of the habit of praying about it, and I hit the wall again. Once I remember to pray: progress! It’s almost like the Israelites in the promised land: Forget God, calamity strikes, pray to God for deliverance, God delivers, repeat. I don’t think forgetting to pray about my work is sin, but God’s faithfulness is on display just the same. I don’t deserve his help or guidance, but he gives it repeatedly anyway.

The moral of the story? Prayer works. God is faithful and generous. Nothing earth-shatteringly novel, but I do need frequent reminders. Lord, help me be as faithful, patient, and generous as you are.

Photo by Christopher Burns on Unsplash