For those who like Apologetics, it is very likely you have come across seemingly sophisticated arguments against the existence of God. Some will grant that God exists but will not agree to a personal God who created all things and is still in touch with creation.
What they will settle on is a God who has left the creatures on their own to navigate this jungle called life. We are on our own therefore waiting on some form of divine intervention is nothing but a fool's errand, they retort.
Whenever you hear statements like "This requires hard work and not prayer", it simply exposes what I think is a very fundamental misunderstanding of the nature of God and how man is supposed to relate with Him.
To some, prayer only comes in when a man cannot figure things out on their own. As long as we can get things done through our own ingenuity, we quickly throw any call to the Divine under the bus.
The first question we all have to address is, Why does anything work in the first place? Those who are well instructed in cosmology and other complex sciences will tell you the exactness of all the physical constants and mechanisms needed to keep the universe going.
Another complicated concept is CONSCIOUSNESS. We don't fully understand what that is, its origins and stuff like that. Scientific advancements in AI and Robotics make this difficulty very clear to us. Can we create machines and give them consciousness? (whatever that will mean) These tend to be the building blocks upon which anything is that. We just take it as a given and move on with our lives.
In simple terms, this is the error we make. God has designed the universe to support our existence. We often overlook this and when we are able to generate anything out of what has been put in place, we boast of our self-sufficiency. Creation, as we have it, is God's fundamental providence for all. In the busyness of life, we often miss/forget how spectacular everything is but only focus on ourselves.
The Christian could err in excess by only acknowledging God for what we'll call a miracle forgetting the whole of existence is the first miracle. This is God's providence for all; those who acknowledge Him and those who don't. It is not spectacular to all but it is the substrate for everything and my goal in this piece is to remind us of this.
The Christian understands that God is the wellspring of all good and perfect things. He created everything and set the course of nature to accommodate the creatures in every way.
Sometimes I wonder if man would have been able to do anything if we were not charged to have dominion over all that God created. We don't implore the divine when we get to our wit's end but we acknowledge Him in all things.
I recommend what I'll call gratitude-inspired labour and hard work. It reshapes our perspective. All that we achieve through hard work should be our response of gratitude to God. In this case, we'll not make idols out of the benefits he gives to us. We will remember that a man's life doesn't consist of the abundance of his possessions and orient our lives appropriately.