“It is true that we cannot make believers of our children and it’s good to be reminded that we are but men and that the blessing of God and the power of the Holy Spirit alone change hearts and lives. That should keep us humble and prayerful. However, if we know the apostle Paul, we will be convinced that he spared no amount of laboring and striving, preaching and teaching, pleading and argument if by any means he might save some.
An analogy from farming will clarify the point. When we walk in the field we confess that the Spirit alone gives life to our corn crop. But the Holy Spirit has been pleased to bind himself to means. We do not get 180 bushels of corn to the acre by pulling out a lawn chair. Instead we pray and plow, disc, fertilize, plant, irrigate, spray, and cultivate. Ora et labora, pray and work.”
-Donald Van Dyken, Rediscovering Catechism, 72.