(James 1:22 NLT) But don’t just listen to God’s word. You must do what it says. Otherwise, you are only fooling yourselves.
This morning we continue our series entitled, “Re-Energizing Your Prayer Life.” We have looked at many different aspects of prayer thus far in this series. For the next few days we will look at “Hurdles to answered prayer.” Satan knows that a church (collectively) and a believer (individually) is only as powerful as their prayer life. No prayer, no power. Therefore, he will use misconceptions about prayer to thwart our prayer potential. These misconceptions are hurdles we can and should overcome as we seek to develop in prayer, so that we can experience the intimacy and power promised to us in scripture. These hurdles, if not overcome, can also lead perceived unanswered prayer.
The first hurdle we will discuss is: “Learning about prayer, but not practicing it.” This one is a big one for me. I write Today’s Word five times a week, share the “5 Minute Fix” once a week, and preach in churches regularly, so I am constantly studying the Word. However, studying and DOING are two different things. I have to consider my ways to ensure I am living what I am teaching and I pray we are all doing the same thing. Also, I am a note taker. These days I take notes during church services with my iPad. This way I am able to download and print the notes out later. As I sit in church I look around as most congregants are dutifully taking notes during the sermons/lessons. However, taking notes and living those notes are not the same.
We gain a false sense of satisfaction when we learn about something, but don’t actually do it. For example, let’s say you are truly enjoying this series and you can’t wait for the next day to read Today’s Word (by the way, I am sure you are all that way). But enjoying this series without actually putting it into practice is never going to bring about lasting change in your life. If the teaching has not made it from your head to your heart, from theory to practice, from information to application, then you frankly have not accomplished much. Satan loves it when we read about what we should be doing, but never do it; when we buy books about prayer and the Bible, but never follow what the books say; and when we purchase preaching/teaching CDs, but never practice what they teach. It’s like buying a cookbook, but never cooking anything out of it. Many believers feel inspired when they read about how Daniel, Joseph, Paul, Peter and the others prayed. They may get excited, but the excitement won’t mean much if it does not ignite their own personal prayer life.
So what does this mean to you today? A few things:
1. Learning about prayer does you no good if you don’t force your learning to impact your living.
2. The point of studying Biblical information is for life application, and prayerfully for divine transformation. Don’t allow the false sense of satisfaction that comes from studying to actually keep you from applying what you have studied.
3. Being an expert in the knowledge of prayer does not make you a master of the practice of praying. So from this day forward determine to PRAY daily (early and often).
Closing Confession: Father, I thank You for anointing people to teach me the Word and for birthing in me an earnest desire to want to learn. Your Word is my necessary food. I hunger and thirst for Your Word daily. I don’t live by human bread alone, but by every Word that has been written and that continues to proceed from out of Your Mouth. I learn about prayer, because I want to develop my prayer life. My learning shall turn into my living. My head knowledge becomes my heart knowledge. I declare, by faith, that I shall pray more, and more effectively, in 2012 than I ever have in the past. I am not just a reader and learner of the Word, I am a DOER and I am blessed in my doing! In Jesus’ name. Amen!
This is Today’s Word! Apply it and Prosper!