A 12-year-old Haitian girl’s feet were so deformed that she was actually walking on her ankles. She asked some missionaries if they could help her, but the girl’s father, who looked to a voodoo priest for advice, refused to let the doctors operate.

So the missionaries began to pray fervently that God would intervene. After 2 days, the father returned with his daughter and gave them permission for the surgery. Just before the operation, the youngster pointed to her heart and said, “I’m not afraid, because I put Jesus right here.” The operation was successful, and all who knew about this situation are praising the Lord for His answer to prayer.

We see a similar order of events in Ezra 8. The Israelites had to transport a large quantity of gold and silver to Jerusalem. This made them vulnerable to raids by outlaw gangs along the way. So the people fasted and prayed until they received assurance of God’s protection. Then, after taking every precaution, they set out on their journey. Arriving safely in Jerusalem, they offered sacrifices of thanksgiving to the Lord.

Prayer, work, and praise—it’s a God-honoring combination.