Few Christians have the courage to admit it.
But every Christian has had problems praying from time to time. One of those problems is what I call,
Action without Insight vs Action with Insight
Another way of saying it is—praying with insight. Look what Jesus said in John 11:42, “And I knew that You hear Me always.”
Jesus prayed and spoke with insight—always. The Father hears with approval because Jesus always prayed with insight first then action.
To see how action without insight in prayer can hinder your prayers, let me first tell you a true story.
Tom Green, an elementary school basketball coach, tells this story about Vernon.
“Vernon was on the “B” team and early in the season was just learning how to play the game. Not only was he inexperienced, but he was also one of the youngest and smallest players on the squad.
Late in the fourth quarter of a game, we were winning easily, I decided to put Vernon into the game so he could get some actual game experience.
We spent very little time in practice, but I attempted to give Vernon some critical information about the role.
“You guard number 14”, I said. “If he gets the ball, whatever you do, DON’T LET HIM SHOOT!”
I thought that those instructions were simple, straightforward and impossible to misunderstand.
Well, sure enough, in a magnificent turnover play, number 14 took the ball and went charging down the court with Vernon in hot pursuit.
To my amazement, when number 14 began to put the ball up on the backboard, highly motivated but confused and inexperienced little Vernon proceeded to hit him—*hard!*— right in the middle of the back.
Within seconds, both were lying unmoving on the floor.
In astonishment and apprehension, the other teams’ coach and I both rushed to the end of the court to help the two wounded boys who, fortunately, only had the wind knocked out of their sails and weren’t seriously injured.
As soon as Vernon was able to orient himself, he looked up at me from the gym floor, his brown eyes wide in a look of bewilderment, and told me,
“I done what you said, Mr. Green. I didn’t let him shoot”!
I learned an important lesson from Vernon that day. In issuing him a purely verbal command, I expected my young player to act without insight.
And that’s exactly what he did. He acted without fully understanding the game or what I really wanted. Had we spent more time in practice so Vernon could develop some insight before putting him in the game, the outcome would have been far different.”
We do the same thing sometimes when we pray—we pray without insight.
May you say like Jesus, “I know He hears me always.”