Are You Trapped?


April, 2001

Dear Ministry Friends,

Have you ever felt confined or trapped by some kind of situation or circumstances in life? I recently read that if you put a buzzard in a pen six or eight feet square and entirely open at the top, the bird (in spite of his ability to fly) will be an absolute prisoner. The reason is that when a buzzard begins a flight from the ground, he always starts with a run of ten or twelve feet. Without space to run, as is his habit, he will not even attempt to fly, but will remain a prisoner for life in a small cage with no top.

The ordinary bat that flies around at night, a remarkably nimble creature in the air, cannot take off from a level place. If a bat is placed on the floor or flat ground, all it knows to do is shuffle about helplessly until it reaches some slight elevation from which it can throw itself into the air. Then, at once, it takes off like a flash.

A bumblebee, if dropped into an empty drinking glass, will be there until it dies unless it is taken out. It never sees the means of escape at the top, but persists in trying to find some way out through the sides near the bottom. It will seek a way where none exists, until it is completely exhausted and dies.

Last, a common flea can be put into a box or glass with a lid on it. It jumps up over and over again trying to escape only to keep bouncing back down off the lid. Pretty soon, it will stop trying to escape. Then, you can take the lid off the flea's container and it will stay there until it dies, not realizing it could now jump out.

In many ways, a significant number of people feel like the buzzard, the bat, the bee, and the flea. They are struggling about through life, feeling trapped with all their problems and frustrations, not realizing that the answer is right there "above" them.

God is our answer. He is the one that can show us the way out. Like the need of the buzzard or bat, God can teach us ways to do things that we have never done before. We can learn to "take off" in ways we did not realize were possible. Like the bee or the flea, God can show us "open doors" that are within easy reach. We just need God to direct our vision. A famous man once said, "When one door closes, we often gaze so long and sorrowful at the closed door that we don't see the new door that is standing wide open."

Jesus is saying to you the same thing that He said to the disciples when the need of food for the crowd of 4,000 seemed impossible to meet. "Jesus said to them, 'How many loaves do you have?' And they said, 'Seven, and a few little fish.'" (Matthew 15:34). And with God and that small "seed" — the crowd had every need met.

You have the "seed" already in your possession to meet your need. No, I am not talking about an offering (although that can certainly be a catalyst of faith for a miracle). I am talking about the principle that God has given you the prayer of faith to reach out to Him so that God can direct what is already available to see your need met. It may be a talent or ability you already have if you are looking for a job. It may be a friend or minister if you are needing wisdom or advice. It may simply be your copy of the Word of God if you are needing encouragement or direction. But God does not fail in "providing a way of escape" to those who will seek Him (1st Corinthians 10:13).

I just read the true story of Charles Murray, a high diver at the University of Cincinnati, training for the summer Olympics. He went into the pool facility about 10:30 pm one night to work on a few dives. The moon was shining brightly through the windows, and he had dived in that pool so many times that he did not bother to turn on the lights. He mounted the highest platform and put his arms out straight from his sides in preparation for his first dive. He noticed the perfect cross shape that his shadow made on the wall from the moonlight streaming in. He stopped, and sat down to pray as he thought about Jesus and the cross. As he finished praying, a night janitor walked into the pool area and flipped on the lights. Charles suddenly could see that the pool had been drained for minor repairs. Stopping to pray had literally saved the diver's life!

God is more than enough to provide, protect, guide us, or whatever we need — if we will pray. But it takes faith to pray. I have used the illustration that if Jesus suddenly appeared in a church, and announced that He would answer every prayer that was prayed in the next 60 seconds, everybody would be praying! Why? Because they believed they would get an answer. No one would be saying, I'm too busy, or I'm too sleepy, or I'll pray tomorrow. If we really had faith, we would pray!

I just finished re-teaching a six tape series on prayer in my "School of the Bible" that I call Keys to Effective Prayer. It is really much more than that. It contains deep theology and yet practical insights that will motivate you to pray, and help you get answers. I give a check-list for you to see why a prayer might or might not be answered. I explain the 12 types of prayer in the New Testament so you will be able to use the "right tool" for the right job. I cover some popular structures for prayer to help you have organization and variety, and I tell what to do if your prayers seem unanswered. In addition, I will send a free copy of my tape on The Power and Rule of Faith to help you truly understand how to have faith when you pray. This tape will help you "believe and receive" when others "doubt and do without." I also present an unusual perspective on the sovereignty of God that I certainly do not have the space to explain here. Why not order this amazing teaching series to change your present and future? The small price to pay could be worth thousands of dollars in answered prayers.

For Effective Prayer,

Dale Leander

P.S. — Proverbs 11:9 says, "The righteous are delivered through knowledge." Is this teaching on prayer the "way of escape" that God is offering you? Don't stay in your "cage" when the top is open to "help from above." Your future is worth it!


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