Moses tried to calm the Jews and started to pray to G‑d for deliverance. But G‑d told Moses that there was no need to pray; all that was necessary was that he lift his staff over the sea and it would split, enabling the Jews to pass through it to safety.
Eliciting G‑d’s Blessings
וְאַתָּה הָרֵם אֶת מַטְּךָ וּנְטֵה אֶת יָדְךָ עַל הַיָּם וגו': (שמות יד:טז)
[G‑d told Moses,] “Take up your staff and raise your arm over the sea.” Exodus 14:16

The splitting of the Sea of Reeds was a miraculous and supernatural event. Yet there had to be a natural action to “ignite” the miracle: G‑d instructed the people to journey forward and Moses to lift his staff over the water. G‑d always demands some human act first and only then does He perform miracles.

This is because events that occur without our involvement do not truly affect us. Only when we expend some effort do we appreciate G‑d’s miracle. The same applies in all areas of life. Asking for G‑d’s blessings is not sufficient; we must make some effort that can serve as a conduit for the blessing.1