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.

Comments

  1. Hello,
    I am new to this site and into having this different type of faith.
    I have a long story and situation, but will shorten it, as best as I can.
    My husband and I met in law school. While in law school, go diagnosed with MS.
    Was unable to walk for 3 months after the birth of my second child. Realized that I am truly healed already and awaiting for my healing to be manifested outwardly.
    However, one of our biggest issues is us passing the bar.
    We’ve taking it about 4 times. Really believed God would of made a way, but it didn’t happen, and we were fine with that. I was willing and still willing to study and take it again.
    However, that same day, while my husband and i were discussing an attack plan, a voice in my spirit told me not to accept the results, to go back and plead my case to God.
    So, I have for the past months, but nothing has happened 🙁
    So was the voice real or just me.
    I no he’s able because I’ve read he has done for others, but never read, changing grades 6 months later.
    Can you please give me some guidance

    1. http://www.awmi.net/reading/teaching-articles/gods_voice/ – 99k – Cached – Similar pages
      I, too, believe you can hear God’s voice. The publisher of this website also believes as you and I do. There are many great articles here to “feed” your faith. But it is just that, “your faith”. You hearing God speak is …. well, I think it is a hard to fathom thing. Like, did I “just hear from God”? Is that you Father speaking “to me”? Is this”You” directing “ME”? After hearing, it can be enlightening but, then a decision has to be made, “What to do” with this “new information”. Doubt can creep in (maybe we should call this doubt “unbelief”). Stay in FAITH. HIS answers (directions) are for YOU. It is what YOU do with those answers that matters. I’ve given you, at the head of my comment, a teaching from a site that may help and encourage your faith process. I’m not steering you away from this site. I love this site. It has encouraged me many, many times and still does. It’s author is a friend of mine. We have had great dialogue thru this site. His intention is to stir your believing of God’s like faith in you – for the answers you need.
      Our God loves us —-DEEPLY LOVES US. Know that He cares for you. Know that His Holy Spirit does speak. Believe you can hear His voice. Believe that He does want His best for you.

      1. Ty so so much for answering
        I needed that.
        We do not have a church where we are
        The church we attend, do not believe in anything supernatural, or I guess this type of faith
        They are a New Testament Church.
        So It’s hard 😞
        But we are about to take this step of faith
        We are scared, but will do it.
        And finding this site started something in me.

  2. I am so grateful for this platform, it is a devine sign that God really loves me. FaithMechanic sir i would really appreciate a chance to communicate with you privately, i am going through a storm in my life and i need advice, but through all these i am assured that nothing or no one can separate me from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus.

  3. Do you believe once saved always saved? Just wondering because the word of faith church I went to for years and my children go to doesn’t and I just do not know how you can have any hope or faith if you do not know that you know you are saved. This church teaches that if you are not sure you better do better and the pastor they are under (not the pastor of the church) says he knows for sure he is because he is living right. How right is right? Being unsure will mess with your faith. What do you believe.

    1. Author

      Grace – Do I believe in once saved always saved? Yes – pretty much. First, the positive part – our eternity is secure in Him not because we ‘live right’ but because of what Jesus did for us on the Cross. He paid the price for our sins – past, present, and future. I am a believing Christian. I accepted Jesus into my heart, I love Him, but I still on occasion sin. Much more than I know or will admit. I John 1;9 tells us that if we say that we do not sin, then we are liars. We are told to confess our (known) sins and walk in the Light that we have, and His blood will take care of the rest. This is where most believers live.

      I do believe that people not living ‘right’ will also go to Heaven, but, their eternal reward will not be what they would have wanted. Our eternal future is determined by what we do on this earth. A lot is said about not losing our Heavenly rewards. Do you want a big mansion or a tiny condo? We decide that in the here and now.

      But, if one continues a dark selfish direction after they are born again, they can get to the point of no return. There are passages that talk of this including Hebrews 6:4 – 8, but this is only for very mature believers who know the deep things of God. If they choose to walk away from it, they will have made their choice, and they cannot be brought back to repentance. If this scares you, good, don’t worry, this then does not pertain to you. The Devil tries this fear on all believers at one time or another. Only those hardened by a long road of sin and couldn’t care less are meant for this terrible end. These unfortunate people are hard and dark. They know their end.

      However, I do fear for believers (Christians) who do not enjoy God’s will and presence, and who only give Him occasional lip service. I am concerned for them. Salvation is something that can and should be counted upon but not taken for granted. God is our Father (Hebrews 12:5, 6), and He treats us as children, even at times as disobedient children. I am a father; I don’t kill my kids if they make a mistake, or even live a life of mistakes. They are always my kids. But, if one of them, God forbid, renounced me and decided not to have anything further to do with me, then there is nothing I can do.

      I think the scriptures give a mixed picture on this for a reason. There is just enough so that we will not live in fear of losing our salvation at every turn or sin. There is also just enough so that we will not live in dismissive arrogance towards God’s grace.

      This subject is like that of the fear of God; it is hard to strike a balance on it. It is one thing to have a fear of God, and quite another to live in fear of God. I am currently writing an article on it. We love you. God Bless.

      1. I waited to see if you would reply to this comment from Grace, Faith Mechanic. I know what is in my heart but don’t always know how to respond. It really is important to respond correctly. I like to think I know enough but putting it into words – that’s tough. I like your reply and comments.
        I have waited for your articles and comments for sometime and then read where you had experienced a “quiet time” spiritually. Seeing you speak that allows me to see and understand that as Christians we can experience this. I believe these can be the times of building on our faith in Him. The foundation wall is just that – a foundation. Nothing is below the foundation. It is the starting point. It is meant to be the only starting point – …no other foundation can be laid than that which is laid…Jesus Christ. Praise God!
        We don’t live on the “foundation wall” but “we build” on that wall, block by block, row after row of blocks. Each one of these blocks are the “building blocks” of truth God thru The Holy Spirit reveals to you, to us. I am glad you write, I am glad to be your friend.

        1. Author

          Andrew – And I am also so glad to read your comments. They are so different from those at first. There is depth to them now. They have weight. God is on them. Writing about God is more than facts and mechanical truths. There must be life in it. There must be power in it. The Greek for this power is ‘dunamis.’ It means “strength, power, or ability.” It is the root word of our English words dynamite, dynamo and dynamic. I feel it in your writing.

          I have thought of this lately. Over the last six months, God has been speaking to me. Some things that I wanted to know about have opened up to me. But it takes power to put it out (and to deal with the thousands of comments from hurt people). I think I was low on that power. It is like having something to say but not being able to lift the weights sufficient to say it. This is going to be a great year in God. The world appears to be in chaos, but it’s really not. I am energized.

          You are correct. The foundation is everything, and then the building is everything. Why? Because eternity is everything. Everything in this life should build toward a good eternity – both for God and for us.

          We overcome in this life to be faithful to Him and more like Him. More and more, as I age and look at things, I believe life is primarily a test. Walking in faith in God’s grace does bring a measure of justice and blessing to this world. No doubt to that and I believe healing is for all. But the goal of the Gospel is not to bring justice to this world, but to select a just people for the next world. You are surely a part of that wonderful world. I look forward to it, and I know you do too.

          I am also glad and honored to be your friend. Rex

      2. I think we would all agree that God is very particular about the words He uses in the bible. Therefore, when God uses the term “Eternal Life” regarding Believers, that is EXACTLY what He means. In God´s Book ETERNAL means ETERNAL. It means FOREVER & I can see NO ambiguity here WHATSOEVER!

        Read the verses from Hebrews as written to the UNSAVED, not to Believers! Hebrews is NOT written to Believers nor is the Book of James. Selah!

        We should NEVER have any fear of losing our salvation because Jesus did a PERFECT job on our behalf. If anyone FEARS regarding losing their salvation it is because they “Have NOT been made PERFECT in love” & are NOT saved.

        ALL Believers will STAND “Because God is able to make them STAND” – You CANNOT lose your salvation – EVER for ANY reason because NO ONE can snatch you out of His hand! Hallelujah!

  4. Dear Faith Mechanic: First of all, I LOVE this name – and I relate to it because when I first got “real” with God, I asked Him to teach me the “Mechanics of Faith”! That was in 1976! I believe through all these years, that He has and IS honoring my prayer!

    The way in which you present His Words and His Concepts in such simple, beautiful terms brings JOY to my heart and without doubt, the hearts of MANY others!

    God bless you and supply ALL your needs according to HIS RICHES IN GLORY. HALLELUJAH! Keep up the good work you are doing for the LORD! You will not fully know until you look in His Face, the power of what you are doing for HIM!

    1. Author

      Rebecca – Thank you so much for your kind words. They were timely for me as I am coming out of a dry time of not writing. It takes continued grace to continue in the way of God. Thank you for the refreshing gulp of grace that I received while reading it. We love you. Rex

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. 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.
    Andy

    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,

  8. 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.
    Andy

  9. 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,
    “Hijack”

    Definition:

    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.

  10. 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.
    Andy

  11. 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.
    Andy

    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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