The Divine-Human Endeavor
"And the LORD said to him: “I have heard your prayer and your supplication that you have made before Me; I have sanctified this house which you built to put My name there forever, and My eyes and My heart will be there perpetually" (1 Kings 9:3 NKJV).
Here is the mystery of divine-human endeavor: Solomon "built" the house: He hired artisans and architects from Tyre, gathered exotic building materials from afar, erected the structure, crafted the furniture, embellished the walls and pillars with sheets of hammered gold—but the house was just another house until God made it holy.
We labor over a text to understand it, utilizing the exegetical tools at our disposal, crafting our thoughts to maintain the integrity of the text, thinking through the needs of our people and linking truth to life. But our words amount to nothing if God does not invest them with holiness.
We envision a mission, impart the vision, train the workers, send them into the field and support them as they carry on the work. But it's wasted effort if God does not imbue that work with holiness.
And how do we bring God's holiness into our work? Through prayer (9:3). Prayer is the highest expression of our utter dependence on God and the means by which we work in concert with Him. It is the way he puts his name on all that we do. Apart from him we can do nothing (John 15:5).