Sometimes Actions Are Required for Answered Prayer

2-Samuel-Chapter-21-Rizpahs-Kindness-toward-the-Dead-300by Rex Rouis

In II Samuel Chapter 21, a story is told about a famine in the time of King David, that lasted for several years. Because of it, David sought the Lord and was told that the famine was in response to the evil actions of King Saul (the previous king) against the Gibeonites. David decides to make right on the wrong and asks the Gibeonites what they will take as restitution. They want seven of King Saul’s male descendants given to them so they can publicly hang them. King David reluctantly agrees and selects the unfortunate individuals.

The Gibeonites take them and hang them, leaving their bodies hanging in the open until they rot. One of the grieving mothers goes out and for days lives on the ground below her two dead sons, to keep the birds and animals away. It is a terrible heart wrenching image and story. Once the awful restitution is complete, the Bible says, they again prayed for the land and this time God moved on their behalf. The famine would finally come to an end.

What if they did not seek the Lord on why their prayers were not answered? What if they just kept on praying and not receiving? Someone would then come up with a convoluted theological reason on why God did not move on their behalf. It would probably include something about the open-ended nature of God’s promises and His sovereignty.

If we do not receive we need to find out why. We need to seek God on it. Seeking is a vital part of the prayer process. The Bibles says:

“Remind me of what happened (or, Put me on record). Let us argue our case together. State your case so that you can prove you are right.” Isaiah 43:26

I have done much study on the above verse and after reading many translations and commentaries I have come up with my own expanded version, it is as follows:

“Put Me formally on record; let us argue the case and govern together (judge ourselves and our opponents at law); Sum up our decision and declare our judgment, that you may be proved right and made whole.” Isaiah 43:26 My Own Translation

Sometimes, many times, during this seeking period we find that actions are required before an answer will come. Sometimes the actions are easy, such as a simple heart change. Other times, like the story above, they can be extremely costly and difficult. Picking seven good young men for a gruesome death is a horrendous task. He could have chosen not to do it, but then the famine would not have been lifted. I think we can all relate to difficult things the Lord has required of us. I only wish that I could say that I had done all of them, but I have not. I wonder about the additional blessings that could have happened in my life if I had done them.

Prayer and receiving from God is not a formula driven process. It is us openly and honestly relating to a personal God about a personal thing, in a very intimate and personal way. That is how He designed it, and that is how we are to go about it. Without that, He will not answer.


  1. Hello!
    I happened to come a cross your site while looking for scripture to encourage my son who suffers from anxiety and depression.
    I tried to find your statement of faith or doctrines of grace but could not find anything.
    Do you have a statement that details all your belief systems?
    Thank you very much.

    1. Hi Jennifer
      I’m one of the “followers” here on hope, faith, prayer. You’ve found a great site for good information, I believe, on growing your hope, faith and prayer (life). If you can take some time, there are great topics here on this site that can stir your spiritual life – not only yours but others as well. The following topic “You’ve Got to Have Hope” by Dereck Prince can be found on this site. It is one of the topics Rex Rouis (the author of this site) posted some time ago which may give you some spiritual guidance for the questions you ask. Our God is a good God and He cares for you – deeply. Encourage your son to believe God does care for him the same as He does you. His (your sons) answers can be found in God’s Word. He may need some good teaching and further directions – this is a good starting place.

    2. Author

      Jennifer – (And thank you Andrew for your gracious words) We do need to do a Statement of Faith. I have researched about 20 that I respect (I don’t agree with all of them) to create our own. Let me hit some high points:

      1. We believe in the sovereignty of God but we also believe in the will of man. This is considered an antinomy (paradox) and a mystery. I believe man (us) has the majority of the responsibility for our own healing.
      2. God still heals and speaks today through the Holy Spirit – we do not believe in cessationism. We are spirit filled, we speak in tongues, and we believe in the Gifts of the Spirit today.
      3. We believe all the orthodox beliefs of the virgin birth, incarnation of Jesus, resurrection, rapture, etc.
      4. We are essentially Word of Faith, so we believe in confessing (speaking out of our mouth) the scriptures so that they will go into our hearts. We also believe that faith is based on a ‘hearing’ or ‘rhema’ from God through the Holy Spirit, based on Romans 10:17.
      5. We do not believe that God makes us sick for His purposes or for His glory. Sickness is a product of the fall of man, and sin. We believe we can overcome sickness through faith in God and in the word of God. The redemption of man is for the whole man – spirit, soul, and body.

      I hope this helps a little. God bless, we love you. Rex

  2. Thank you for this great and encouraging message. It right on time for me, as my family has been facing financial disaster as my husband lost his job. Today we are packing and have been given notice to leave our home. Now all four of us face homelessness. But God has led me to your writings, and its been a few months since I’ve visit your site, and i now feel a great hope in my heart. Bless you! Rosemarie

    1. Author

      Rosemarie – I will pray for you and your family. You and your family will have the guidance, protection, favor, mercy, and grace of Almighty God in Jesus Name!! I am believing for the peace of God on all of you. I am also believing for a supernatural act of provision, based on His abundant mercy in Jesus Name. He is good enough and He is faithful enough.

  3. The Lamberts/Nick
    I’m following the ongoing post on “Sometimes Actions Are Required for Answered Prayer” and I saw the follow up from hopefaithprayer/faithmechanic. What encouragement he gives you from insight of God’s word. I am encouraged, I have gained knowledge from it. I, too, am facing challenges of a sort. Not the same as yours but never the less, they are my mountain. Just as I sit here writing to you I have received a word. I think I’ve been trying to “climb” over the mountain when I only need to speak it to remove it. My strength can only be “strengthened” in my weakness. When I finally realize some things are just out of my control, when I’ve done all I can do to stand I have to stand, not on what I can do but on what He has already done. I know I don’t understand that completely but I have nothing else to go to. I believe God. I have hope and when my hope has taken me as far as it can I take hold of faith. I struggle in this because I want to think I can do it. That is not the way to do it. Not in my strength alone.

    1. Hi Andy,

      Thankyou for your support & encouragement, which is much appreciated by Pauline & myself. It’s funny how the Lord can use us to encourage others even when we ourselves are having such great difficulty. That is one of the great blessings of this website & blog (it is very different to others I have seen, from that point of view). I feel a sense of unity here!

      I wanted to let you know that I received some revelation regarding Mark11, that you will find interesting. I will keep it simple.

      As we know, “faith comes by hearing” & in Mk11 Jesus tells the disciple (& us) to “Have the faith of God” (this seen with the understanding of Grace becomes, not a command but an offer, as in “Receive the Holy Spirit”). He says this in reply to their astonishment at the result of His cursing the fig tree. Jesus then responds by saying (my paraphrase), “If you think that is amazing, listen to this, if you have the faith of God you could even say to this mountain be removed/cast into the ocean & it would obey you. Because he who does not doubt in his heart, but believes that those things HE says will be done, he will have whatever HE says.”.

      Even Jesus only did what He saw & heard from His/Our Father!

      So, I would say to you, that if you heard this from the Lord, simply speak to your metaphorical or literal “mountain” & it will be removed!

      All the best & thanks again,

  4. To the Lamberts
    I’ve read your post. The two of you have made the decision to follow God’s leading. I believe you are blessed to have been found useable in His field which is ripe to harvest. Today I will agree with you to seek wisdom and understanding for your questions. Please continue to be attentive to God’s still small voice.

  5. My wife & myself are English, living in Spain, trying to learn the language. We are here because we believe we have been called here.

    I was in bed praying, talking to the Lord & meditating, when I asked Him, “Why are we not seeing the promised blessings & the answers to our prayers?”, when the word, “Secuestra”, came into my spirit. I “knew” that this was a Spanish word & went to a Spanish/English dictionary to check, as I had no idea what it meant!

    Firstly, this Spanish word, that I did not know the meaning of, was in the dictionary, I had never heard it before.

    Secondly, the meaning came as a revelation & confirmation!

    One meaning is to “confiscate” but this is usually done legally. Another is to “seize”
    but the best word & the one, I believe, He wanted me to “See” is this,


    To “Illegally” seize (an aircraft, ship, or vehicle) while in transit and force it to go to a different destination or use it for one’s own purposes (we also need to add here, in the brackets, answers to our prayers & blessings!):

    Steal (goods) by seizing them in transit (again add answers to prayers & blessings)
    Take-over (something) and use it for a different purpose (are demonic forces sending our blessings elsewhere i.e. to one of their own?).

    We had been asking God about this for some time, mainly since we came to Spain, 7mths ago (now 14 months), & everything seems to go wrong!

    He has given us some insight here but we are still “in the dark” as to how to change things. Not sure if some actions are required, as per the article above. Any advice?

    1. Author

      Don’t let the devil hijack your ministry or illegally seize your goods. He comes not but to steal, kill, and destroy. But Jesus comes to give life and give it more ABUNDANTLY – but it only comes by faith.

      Get aggressive with the word of God and your faith. Meditate on His authority in you until it gets in you, and then let it out to the victory and glory of God. Faith is the victory that overcomes (the evil of) this world, EVEN OUR FAITH. Read the articles by Lake and Simpson and Wigglesworth, etc., on this site about strong aggressive faith. The faith that will not be denied. The kind of faith that will walk out in the open and defy a Goliath – with nothing but you and God. That pleases God and gets the job done. Scan down our posts until something hits you and then read it and then read the Word about it, and then seek God on it.

      Seek God with a hunger that will not give up. Hold on to Him tight and do not let up until He answers. He LOVES that – Hebrews 11:6. Confess this over and over and over and over – Confession – Change Your Life. You won’t feel anything at first but don’t stop. Soon, you will feel bigger on the inside. Walk the floor, pray in the spirit and confess the word of God over your life and family and ministry. Confess it over your area and nation. You are the one delegated by God to bless your area, enforce that trust and act in His stead.

      It is not easy. It is hard work. The are times when you don’t know what you are doing. But keep doing. There is nothing better than the real life faith walk. I bless you. We envy you. Hear from God and do it. If He does not come through, you will fail. But if you have heard Him correct He will not fail you. It is the principal that is on nearly every page of the Bible. Do it. Throw your leg over the side of the boat and walk!! Just make sure you hear His voice first. Wow, there is nothing better. When in Heaven, you will talk about this as the good old times. You will be glad you did, forever.

  6. Thanks for a reply to my post. I found your website accidentally when I was researching for more information on Smith Wigglesworth. I had heard some pretty amazing things about him and his ministry and wanted to learn more. I was reading when I had the time and somehow during my study your website came up and I was curious with other names of writers on your site and continued with a deeper excavation with their writings. To find that I was able to make comments to articles that I was reading and let someone know what I was feeling and how I was interpreting the message – I wasn’t sure if I felt comfortable doing that – I didn’t know if someone would understand my comments or even if they were on track to the message. I have no doubt that God has arrested my attention. I still follow a daily morning broadcast and go to their website for my daily “breakfast” for prayer and meditation to start my day – I now count on your site as well. God is using the material you have compiled to help mold my thinking. I know it is God led because my spirit is in agreement. Just as He has used this daily broadcast and website to stir my inner man – now you are “growing” me too. Thank you for your hearts attitude in all the work you put into this site. It enriches me and gives me guidance and it helps me commune with my God. He speaks to my heart and it is increasing my faith.

  7. The picture is beautiful! In my minds eye I see a woman gazing into the distance fixed on finding answers for her hearts pain (I’m equating the picture to the story). Waiting on God’s answer. I appreciate the selected story that parallels the hearts thoughts and His leading and answers to our questions. This type of answer to a troubled heart may be hard to bear or entertain. We have to learn to trust Him and know it is best for us. The still small voice – a hard thing to recognize.

    1. Author

      Andrew – Thank you. This old painting was actually based on the Bible story. Many of the Bible illustrations I went through for this story showed the seven men hanging. Nothing wrong with that but I thought this felt right.

      Faith, obedience, most all other things related to serving God, are contingent upon hearing what He says and doing it. That is why when Bible teachers today say that God no longer speaks to us in a personal way, what they are really doing is gutting the Gospel. There is nothing left but convoluted theology on why things happen and what we are left to believe. Faith, the Bible says, comes by hearing.

      Thanks again for your comment. God bless

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