When you offer the Lord a prayer of exasperation, there are basically three things that He can say to you in response. One, He can say, 'It's gone!' meaning, 'the circumstances that are weighing you down, I remove them.' The illness, it's gone; the unemployment, it's gone; the heartache, it's gone -- He can do that. The second thing He can say is 'My grace, My grace is sufficient for you. You're weak, you're exasperated. I look good, I get glory when my people persevere in the midst of weakness.' So He can say 'It's gone,' He can say 'My grace,' or He can say, 'Get up!'
Now, the first response is the least common. Just, okay, all of it, better. All your problems removed. Now, pray, and the Lord can do that, but He doesn't often do that because it doesn't teach us as much. And so, He will often say to us, 'My grace is sufficient.' He wants us to grow. And He will just as often tell us to 'Get up!' which means, 'I hear your prayer, and I will respond, but you also have some work to do in response to your prayer.'
I love this passage from Nehemiah, chapter 4. Here the Israelites are rebuilding the wall [of Jerusalem], and they have opposition, and we read in Nehemiah 4:7-9, 'When Sanballat and Tobiah and the Arabs and the Ammonites and the Ashdodites heard that the repairing of the walls of Jerusalem was going forward and that the breaches were beginning to be closed, they were very angry. And they all plotted together to come and fight against Jerusalem and to cause confusion in it. And we prayed to our God and set a guard as a protection against them day and night.' I love that. Prayer is not an excuse for inactivity. We're gonna pray -- we have enemies, and we're gonna pray, and you know what we're also gonna do? We're gonna set a guy with a sword up on the wall. We're gonna see if God is going to answer our prayers by us using our brains.
Prayer is not an excuse for passivity. When you look for a job, you look for one. Don't just wait for open doors; sometimes doors open because you knock. Don't just, 'Well, I put something up on Monster.com, there it is. Coming home, Mom and Dad.' No, you need to work. If you want to get married, guys, ask a girl out. Or if that's not the right language, ask to court her, or something. Don't just wait for God to pluck a mate from your side, that was a one-time deal. So you pray, and then you get some guts. You do something, okay? Someone wrote a book about that. Joshua was right to pray, but the Lord's answer to his prayer in this case was to tell him, 'Get up.'