1068: More Than Prayer

 

When David fought his last battles with the Philistines, we see a pattern of how he did business, so to speak, that brought him success and good fortune. What did he do? For that, you will have to read on, but it's worth the time, for it will reveal something that you can use as you rule from your own throne God has given you.

HE ASKED

What did David do before he went out into those battles. He asked the Lord's direction and God answered both request. First we read,

David inquired of the Lord, “Shall I go and attack the Philistines? Will you deliver them into my hands?” The Lord answered him, “Go, for I will surely deliver the Philistines into your hands" (2 Samuel 5:19).

Notice in this instance that the Lord told David to go but didn't tell him how to go. He didn't give him a strategy but just the green light to proceed. The writer reported, "So David went to Baal Perazim, and there he defeated them" (2 Samuel 5:20). So far, so good.

Then the Philistines came a second time, and once again David went to the Lord:

David inquired of the Lord, and he answered, “Do not go straight up, but circle around behind them and attack them in front of the poplar trees. As soon as you hear the sound of marching in the tops of the poplar trees, move quickly, because that will mean the Lord has gone out in front of you to strike the Philistine army.” So David did as the Lord commanded him, and he struck down the Philistines all the way from Gibeon to Gezer (2 Samuel 5:23-25).

This time the Lord not only gave David the green light, but He also gave him a specific strategy along with a signal he was to heed so he would know when it was time to attack. You may be reading and thinking at this point, "Of course, David prayed and God answered. What's so special about that? What is there in these stories that can help me?" Good questions indeed, which I will try to answer in this next part.

ON THE GO

When you come to the Lord for answers, you must have faith He will respond. I know many people who pray and that's a good thing, but prayer is their only practice. They don't really expect to hear and therefore aren't looking for a strategy to follow; they are simply putting in their prayer time. Their lives are devout but they lack fruit—fruit that can be measured in terms of people reached and things done. So the first lesson is to pray with a view toward action, not with a mindset that prayer is the main thing. It is not.

Then there are those who pray and want a specific answer for every step of the way. Sometimes God will reveal a unique plan and strategy and at other times, He simply instructs us to go and it will unfold as we go. But the key thing is that we must do our part, which is to go, and God will do His part, which is to break out against our enemies as we go.

For example, I never leave Africa before I have a return trip planned. I know God wants me there, so I don't have to pray about that. However, recently I sought him for a specific fundraising strategy that was something new I had never done before. There God gave me a strategy that unfolded over two weeks as I specifically sought Him for what to do and how to do it. In both instances, I had faith God was leading me, the one through my love for being in Africa and the other for a unique opportunity to help more people in multiple countries.

In both cases, David assumed he was to attack—that was a given. When God did not give him a strategy, he still went with the assurance God would reveal Himself in the battle. In the other case, God revealed Himself before the battle. Either way, David was in attack mode. God didn't have to direct him to go; He simply assured him he was on the right track and could count on His help.

Where are you waiting and praying when you should be going and praying? Where have you allowed prayer to become the only aspect of your action strategy instead of one part of it? Are you in attack mode or wait mode? Does God have to move you or are you moving, listening as you go. Prayer is vital but it is a means through which God will reveal His action plan for you. But if your only action is prayer, then you have a flawed strategy that will keep you on your knees but seldom keep you on the go. Have a blessed week.