Character and Obedience Over Prayer

Character and Destiny: Why Prayer Alone Isn't Enough

“You cannot get by prayer what you should get by character and obedience.”

Heraclitus once said, “A man’s character is his fate.” This sentiment was echoed by Thomas Jefferson, the third President of the United States, who remarked, “Nothing can stop the man with the right mental attitude from achieving his goal; nothing on earth can help the man with the wrong mental attitude.”

As a clergyman, I have witnessed countless people sabotage their own lives by seeking spiritual solutions to issues rooted in character flaws. They often blame others for their misfortunes when, in reality, their own character is their greatest adversary.

Our destiny is deeply intertwined with our character. Since character can be developed and changed, so too can our destiny. Thus, character is destiny.

The Role of Prayer

Is prayer truly everything? While many might debate this, my goal is not to argue but to highlight a crucial point: arguments do not validate truth; they only delay its recognition.

Many believe that success can be achieved solely through prayer, neglecting the importance of character. No amount of spiritual rituals can replace the necessity of good character. Sometimes, it is character, not prayer, that is needed.

Dutch Sheets wisely said, “Prayer is not a check request asking for things from God; it is a deposit slip—a way of depositing God’s character into our bankrupt souls.” Similarly, British writer and politician Thomas Macaulay stated, “The measure of a man’s character is what he would do if he knew he never would be found out.”

The Interplay of Character and Success

A person’s ascent to great heights is often hindered not by external enemies, but by the flaws in their own character. This is not to diminish the power of prayer, but to emphasize that character cannot be overlooked. Many people focus on their spiritual lives while neglecting their character and relationships with others.

One can exhibit spiritual eloquence and devoutness, yet it is their behavior and character that will ultimately determine the manifestation of God’s plans. Treating people with courtesy and respect is paramount.

Lessons from History

The Shunammite woman, who prayed fervently for a child, eventually received her miracle not through prayer alone, but through her hospitality to a man of God. Her character, not her prayers, opened the door to her blessing.

Often, we pray, fast, and bind imaginary demons, when the real issue lies in our flawed character. Many have alienated those divinely placed to help them fulfill their destiny due to poor character.

The Great Wall of China serves as a historical lesson in the importance of character. Despite its formidable structure, the wall was breached not by force but by the bribery of guards, highlighting the superiority of human character over physical fortifications.

Building Character

Character building precedes all other forms of construction. While prayer is important, building relationships and maintaining good character are equally vital. Your future depends on the strength of your character.

William Shakespeare aptly said, “The fault is not in our stars, but in ourselves.” Peter Schutz, the former CEO of Porsche, advised, “Hire character; train skills.”

A Modern Parable

Consider the story of East and West Berlin. When people from East Berlin dumped garbage on the West Berlin side, the West Berliners responded not with retaliation, but with generosity, placing provisions and a sign that read: “Each gives what he has.”

This powerful message underscores the idea that we can only give what we possess internally. Whether it is love or hate, peace or violence, we must cultivate the good within us.

Think about it! Always strive to give out the good in you

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