By David Berg
The Lord really leaves a lot to us and our concern and prayer. If you only cry with half a heart, you only get half an answer. If you cry with your whole heart, you get a wholehearted strong answer. If you turn it on real strong, then it reflects strong. Like a beam of light focused on a mirror, prayer will reflect or be answered with the same intensity as it originates. It will bounce back with as much power as it began with.
The Lord leaves a lot up to us. If we stir ourselves, then God will stir Himself. An awful lot depends on us, our faith and our prayers and what we want done. A lot of people have sort of a lazy attitude and seem to think the Lord will do it all, no matter what. But the truth of the matter is, a lot depends on us.
He wants us to show concern and pray about it, and be specific about it. If you really believe, every prayer is heard and answered. But if you don't pray, it is not! An awful lot depends on you. It's like you have to visualize the people you're praying for and pray specifically for them with that thought on your heart and ask the Lord to do this or that for them, and it is no sooner said than done. In fact, He often answers before you call--because He knows you're going to (Isaiah 65:24).
The very intensity with which you pray and really mean it or desire it is reflected in the answer. It all depends on your prayers. The beam that hits the satellite is reflected according to the intensity of the original beam.
When you play tennis a great deal, you know that the angle the ball leaves the racket depends on the angle at which the ball strikes the racket. The power with which the racket hits the ball and where it goes depends on the force with which it hits the ground and the stroke of the player. How high it bounces has a lot to do with the way it is directed and the force with which it is directed and the place that it strikes, all of which determine where it finally winds up.
Another example is of a ball striking a bat. The way the pitcher throws the ball, the force with which he throws it, and the angle and the force with which the bat hits it, all affect where it lands. Both the pitcher and batter have a part in the outcome.
Another example is a billiard ball. Billiards is the most scientific of all sports having to do with the bouncing of balls. It's the most amazing thing how an expert can take a billiard ball and shoot that billiard ball with a cue! The way his cue strikes the ball can even give it a twist to make it curve.
He controls the original force and direction and the power and way in which it is sent out. The spin and everything that happens is a reflection of the way he started it off. He can do it so it'll hit a cushion and bounce back and hit another ball, and that ball will bounce in another direction and hit a third ball into the pocket. He controls the original direction and force, and if it is guided just right, the cushion and the other balls reflect his ball and they bounce it back and give it a little extra push.
The fellow who does the break shot starts off with the triangle of balls and the opening shot that scatters the balls all over the table. The second man then has to shoot to get all the balls he can into the pockets, which are the scoring shots. He is not allowed to move the balls by hand from their original positions, even his own ball, and is not allowed to adjust the positions where they have been created, so to speak, or where they have landed. The only thing he can do is try to shoot his ball in such a way that it strikes the cushions and the other balls at such an angle that it knocks one or more of them in to the pockets.
God is the one who fired the break shot, and everything is out there in the position He destined it to be in. He has set the stage with His original shot by the creation of planets, etc., and the rules by which the game is played and the position of all the balls, and you've got to play it by His rules and the position He's put all the balls in.
He set the stage with his creation, like the planets, the sun and the stars, etc., and they move according to His rules. In other words, He sets the original pattern and the original rules, but then we can do something with what He has set up. The original position of all these things has the major control of what happens, because of their position.
But the way in which we shoot at them is like our prayers--the force, the angle, the twist, or spin, or the "English" you put on it--the way in which you shoot is like the way a prayer is worded or expressed, or the way you ask God to answer. It may be a forceful prayer in the right direction, but how do you want God to answer? Then the position of the various people and circumstances involved and the distances and positions of all factors affected, like the billiard balls, all have something to do with the time that it takes to do the job.
Really, those astral bodies, like individuals, regulate by their original position the time it takes and how they reflect. How come it takes so long for some prayers to be answered? Again, the picture of the billiard table: The balls are numbered, and the players are supposed to hit a ball of a certain number in proper sequence at a certain time in the game.
But you can't hit that ball until its number comes up. And, of course, the one who created the game numbered the balls. You don't regulate where that ball's going to be at that time it's supposed to be hit. That's all ordered by the way the balls were scattered in the first place. You have to wait until your ball and that ball are in just the right position in relation to that corner pocket to make the right shot to get the ball where you want it to go.
It's like the lead player is God, and He is the One that made the break shot that scattered the balls originally. As you go along, He plays too and keeps changing the position of the balls by his shots. The only difference is, God is not trying to beat you. He's actually trying to help you win if you are on His side, like playing doubles: Your partner is God, and God's shots are made to try to make it easier for you. He tries to "set it up" for you.
The same is true in another game, croquet: God is like your partner and He tries to give you setups to make it easier for you to shoot. Of course, it doesn't matter how good God sets things up, if you don't shoot straight, it won't do any good. And no matter how good your shot is, that ball, or person, has to be in a certain position for it to hit right. You may be firing away, but if the object of your prayers is not at the right angle of reflection, it's not getting through to him.
A lot depends on him, the recipient of your prayers, too, to get the benefit of your prayers. You've got to be in the right position, and he has to be in the right position.
The Holy Spirit is the power of the prayer. He provides its current. The power can be there, but if your transmitter is out of whack, it won't transmit right: If there's sin, or you're not tuned in right, or on the wrong channel, it won't work.
Let's take the radio for another example. You're going to send a radio message across the world for someone over there to pick it up. Your transmission won't have any power at all unless it's plugged in to the current, the Holy Spirit, God's power.
Your transmitter has to be in good condition. If it's faulty or out of tune or on the wrong channel, it won't transmit like it ought to and won't get the message through clear. On top of that, it's got to be beamed in exactly the right direction at God's satellite. God, in a sense, really controls the limits of the direction of the prayer, because if you don't beam it in the general area where He wants it to go so it hits His satellite, it will miss the point altogether. It won't do a bit of good if you're firing off in some other direction. You've got to be right on target in the direction God wants it to go, or it won't bounce right.
But if you're in tune, the Holy Spirit directs it. If your set is automated and the Holy Spirit is absolutely in control, then it's automatically tuned just right--power, beam, direction, everything--by the Lord's own computer, and it can't miss! But if you've been fooling around with the dials and the settings, you can mess up the whole works by trying to do it your way.
Also, the Lord has to have the satellite of His will in just the right position to bounce it down to the receiver, and the receiver's got to be in just the right position to receive it. The satellite is on a fixed orbit that you can't change, like God's overall plan that is fixed. You must aim within that fixed orbit. Then, depending on your prayer and the recipient of your prayer, and providing conditions are right and you aim right in the direction that God has already sent the satellite of His will, you can hit right on target! It's got to go according to God's general direction if you want it to work.
Then if your receiver gets in the right position, he'll receive it. If the recipient is tuned in right and has the right power and is on the right channel, he will get the message.
So there are an awful lot of factors which affect the whole process of prayer. Which is one reason, of course, why you don't always get the answer right away. The trouble may be with you, or it's may not be God's time because His satellite isn't in the right position yet, or the trouble may be at the other end.
It's like a mathematical problem: The more complicated the problem is and the more factors involved, the more difficult the solution. The bigger the problem and the more parts there are to the problem, the harder it is to work out the answer. But for a simple little problem like two plus two, it's easy to get a simple little answer like four, because you have very little involved.
So prayer depends on three principal factors: Your position, God's position and the position of the other person for whom you're praying. In other words, it depends on the cue ball, the target ball and the pocket--the position of all three. You don't control it completely, they don't control it completely, and God has specifically limited Himself not to control it completely, but to let it be affected by your position and their position.
The position of His satellite is set, but how it is used depends on you and them. In other words, He's set the position of His overall plans, but how you fit into the plan depends on your position and their position.
So God has left a lot up to you and a lot up to them. He'll always do His part--His orbit is set and His satellite will always be in the place it is supposed to be. The only thing that will change things is your position and their position.
You can't rush God. You've got to wait till it's God's time. But if you wait on God's time and you shoot straight at the right time, you'll get the right answer!