“I desire therefore that the men pray everywhere, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting…” -1 Tim 2:8 (NKJV)
When one is said to have “dirty hands,” it could have both a literal and figurative meaning. The literal meaning would suggest hands that have been dirtied by manual labor. The figurative meaning would imply hands that have been dirtied by cheating, or worse, by hurting someone.
The verse above speaks of “holy hands,” which means, “separated unto the Lord.” To complete the meaning, “work that is separated unto the Lord,” or “work that glorifies God.”
Our work is not only to be clean, but that which glorifies God.
There are two aspects we see on how our work can glorify God.
1. “Without wrath.” The motive behind the work we do must emanate from a relationship with God, which can only be brought about by a surrender of self to the Lordship of Jesus Christ. The Bible tells us that a relationship with Christ brings the “peace which transcends all understanding” (Phil. 4:7).
It is this peace that then translates into work that benefits others. There is no better way to be successful in what we do than in making others successful as well. This honors God.
2. “Without doubting.” Translation: Belief! We are to believe that it is God who has placed us where we are now because He has a divine purpose for us. We are to believe that this divine purpose can bring out the best in us so we may do the best we can. A business leader I know always ends his meetings with, “Let’s do our best and trust God to do the rest.”
Indeed! God has given each of us gifts, talents and abilities. When we use these for His glory, we strive for excellence. Excellence honors God and God honors excellence. This is the best formula for success.
Thus, when we pray, our prayers should go side-by-side with work that glorifies God. Sadly, many of our prayers are akin to standing by a vending machine and waiting for something to come out. This is not praying in confidence but in wistfulness.
Praying in confidence is asking God to do the rest while we use His gifts to do the best ... for Him and for others.