YET.... I know people who's lives are NOT changed by prayer. People who pray. People who know God. People who for one reason or another are praying empty meaningless prayers. YES... you can pray and have it fall on the floor like a lump of lead.
Here's a truth. I got this early this morning. Nearly every time Jesus was appealed to by someone, he asked for an action from them. He held a great promise, but he asked for them to DO something.
He was saying, I will do what you request, but you must do what I tell you to do. YOU ARE PART OF THE ANSWER TO EVERY PRAYER YOU PRAY. IF you are unwilling to do what God tells you to do, then don't bother to pray. It's close to taking the name of the Lord in vain.
I can find lots of illustrations of this in the Bible. I could beat you over the head with them... shooting a Gatling gun of Bible Bullets. That is not my intent. I assume if you are reading this, you already know what the Word says.
So, IF you pray, and you should, HOW do you KNOW what to do?
- It's in the word of God... do what it says.
- By sound instruction and teaching that moves you to act or react a certain way.
- By personal revelation that does not conflict with #s 1 and 2.
- By a Prophet of God confirming or directing you on what you are hearing.
- By waiting on God long enough to know what He IS saying to you.
- By asking Father this: "If you are going to answer my prayer, what do I need to do (or stop doing) to make it happen (possible)?"
Note, I did NOT say by wise counsel. There is too little of that available today. Not everyone who you consider wise is. Multitudes of counselors can lead you over a cliff. YOU need to know in your knower. There is great peace in praying a prayer that you are in cooperation with. One that you know will produce much fruit. Don't go too far trying to ask PEOPLE what to do. Ask FATHER!
I know this, it is not enough to pray and then remain silent when some enemy rises up against the answer. We can and must be willing to trust HIM to act in our behalf. We must be certain we are not acting against our own prayers.
To obey is better than sacrifice...even better than the sacrifice of prayer and praise.
Don't call a prayer meeting that doesn't result in clear direction sought from GOD. It's like this, HOW would you know if your prayers were answered...?
Pray Trust Obey.... There's no OTHER way