Skill Will Bring Success

    October 01, 2019 | Book Publication by Mike Prah

    The theme for this book is a Bible verse from Ecclesiastes 10:10. It says: "If an ax is dull and its edge is unsharpened more strength is needed, but skill will bring success."

    One of the keys to succeeding in life is you have to be skilled. You could be the hardest working person on the planet. You could be the most sincere person in the world, but if you don’t have the right life skills you cannot succeed in life. Moreover, the more skillful you become the more successful you’ll be.

    In this book, Mike Prah draws from the lives of winners like Moses, David, Nehemiah, Joseph, Job, Solomon, Peter and others to present a compelling prescription for personal growth and success. Mike teaches proven skills you’ll need in order to achieve emotional, spiritual, mental, financial, vocational and relational success.

    Mike gives you actionable steps to lead to your victory. You will be uplifted by his practical presentation of timeless truth in an easy to read, fun style.

    Come soar with the winners and fly higher than your wildest dreams!

    Purchase book online in Paperback, Hardcover, Apple iBooks and Amazon Kindle E-book below:

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    May God use this book for His intended purpose!

    Click below to read the Table of Contents, Introduction and Chapter 1 pages of this book.

    Table of Contents



    Chapter 1—How To Live The Life Of Your Dreams

    Chapter 2—Laws Of Promotion

    Chapter 3—Learning The Skill Of Right Timing And Execution

    Chapter 4—Learning To Deal With Negative People

    Chapter 5—Defeating The Fears That Hold You Back

    Chapter 6—Habits Of Financial Freedom

    Chapter 7Living By Faith Is A Game Changer

    Chapter 8—The Secret Sauce To Greatness

    Chapter 9—Prayer Works!

    Chapter 10—How To Recover From A Failure

    Chapter 11—How To Enjoy A Satisfying Marriage—The 6 Cs Of A Happy Marriage

    Chapter 12—The Secret To Relationship Faithfulness

    Chapter 13—How God Transforms Weaklings To Winners—God’s 4-Step Transformation Process

    Chapter 14—What It Takes To Win In Life—The 4 Ds of Winning!



    There are thousands of self-help books in print today that will tell you all you need to succeed in life is desire and determination. My friend that is just not all true. Of course, you need desire. Of course, you need determination. But you need more than that. I know people who have desire and determination and have not succeeded in life. You need the tools and skills to succeed in life.

     For instance, a farmer can pray all he wants for a giant crop. But if he plants the wrong seed, or if he uses the wrong fertilizer, or if he doesn’t give it the proper amount of water, it’s not going to be a big crop no matter how hard he prays or works and how sincere he is.

    I cannot use my lawnmower to wash my clothes, nor can I use my comb to brush my teeth. I can try, but I won’t be successful. You see, you’ve got to have the right tools and the right skills in life to succeed. One of my life scripture verses is Ecclesiastes 10:10. Wise King Solomon tells us,

     “If the ax is dull and its edge unsharpened, more strength is needed but SKILL will bring SUCCESS”

     You have to have the skills of success to succeed in life. The Bible says, “If the ax is dull and its edge unsharpened, more strength is required.” In other words, if you’re chopping wood and you’ve got a dull ax, it takes more effort and far more strength to get the job done. If your ax is really sharp it’s not as hard. Here is the good news: the Bible says, “skill will bring success.” What this Scripture verse is saying is, God wants you to work smarter, not harder in every area of your life.

    One of the keys to succeeding in life is being skilled. It’s not enough just to want to be successful in your life, in your relationships, in your career, in your finances, and your schooling. Desire is not enough. Determination is not enough. Dedication is not enough. Prayer is not enough. Working hard is not enough. All of these are important, but they are not enough. You’ve got to have the right skills. The Bible says, “skill will bring success.” Until you learn those skills, you cannot succeed in life. The more skillful you become, the more successful you’ll be.

     You could be the most sincere person in the world, but if you don’t have the right life skills, you’re going to fail at life. The good news is skills can be learned. That’s what we’re going to look at throughout this book: skills that you need to succeed in life and work.

     My hope for you is that this book will equip you with the timeless life skills that I’ve have been taught and believe. I aim to give you the life skills that you need to be all God wants you to be in every area of your life—spiritually, emotionally, financially, relationally, vocationally, mentally, and physically.

     I have not mastered all these skills, but I’m trying every day to put them into practice, and you can too. None of these skills can help you if the principles are not put into practice. Wisdom is putting knowledge into action. Some of the skills are very simple. Please don’t dismiss them because they are simple. Many times the smallest things make the biggest impact. Practicing these truths is very important to your growth and development. Do your part, and God always will do His part.

     Moses said: God, “Teach us to realize the brevity of life, so that we may grow in wisdom (Psalm 90:12, NIV). This is my prayer for you.

     So come along and let’s journey together so that we may grow in wisdom and by that accomplish all the awesome victories God has destined for every area of our lives.

     Grace and peace to you,

     Mike Prah

    Chapter 1 - How To Live The Life of Your Dreams

     “Be careful how you act; these are difficult days. Be wise: make the most of every opportunity you have” (Ephesians 5:15–16, LB).

    I’ve discovered that if you listen closely to people, you’ll discover that everybody has a dream. Everybody has ambition. They maybe have had it since they were a little girl or a little boy, or maybe it came more recently, but we all have hopes, we all have desires, we have wishes, we have ambitions. Everybody deep down inside has an “I’d love to do this with my life” story. It may be hidden, but everybody has a dream.

     But I’ve also noticed that most of those dreams never come true. The truth is they never really come to fruition. A lot of times, it’s simply because we’re unwilling to take the risk. We’re unwilling to take the step, to take the plunge, to jump off the cliff.

     There’s a sad commentary in the Bible about a king who had a failed venture. This story is told in the Old Testament book of 1 Kings. There’s one sentence said about it in 1 Kings Chapter 22. This guy’s name was Jehoshaphat, and it says this:

     King Jehoshaphat built a fleet of trading ships to go to Ophir for gold, but they never set sail–They were wrecked at Zion-Geber.” (1 Kings 22:48, NIV)

     This is a guy who built a fleet of ships that never set sail. The ships were wrecked at Ezion-Geber, which was the harbor they were built in.

     Unfortunately, that’s the epitaph, the inscription, the story of many lives. A lot of people spend their entire lives dreaming, planning, wishing, hoping, building a fleet of ships to go after the gold, but they never set sail.

     This guy obviously had a plan to get rich. He says, “I’m going after the gold. There’s gold at Ophir. I’m going to build a bunch of trading ships.” It’s interesting, Ophir was a famous city where they traded gold. It was a very wealthy city. Nobody really knows where it is today. Some scholars say that Ophir was in Africa. Some think it was in India, maybe the Arabian Peninsula. But nobody really knows where Ophir was today.

     The Bible says, “he built a fleet of trading ships to go to Ophir for gold, but they never set sail.” This guy obviously was not joking around. He was looking for a big payday.

     Some people talk about “I’m waiting for my ship to come in.” But the truth is God isn’t waiting for your ship to come in. He’s waiting for your ship to sail out of the harbor. While it’s a tragedy for your ship to never come in in life, it’s a greater tragedy for you to build a ship and never set sail.

     Imagine the energy expended by this guy. He built an entire “fleet of trading ships” to go after the gold, and not one of them set sail. They never got out of the harbor. While these ships were in the harbor, the Bible says, “they were wrecked.” Evidently a storm came up and crashed the ships against the rocks, and they were destroyed.

     That is the story of many, many lives. So many people go to their graves, never achieving the things they most want to accomplish. It is a tragedy to live a life with an unfulfilled dream.

     My goal in life as a pastor and in writing this book is to help you succeed in life. I am committed to helping you become what you were placed on this planet to do. I want you to get your ship out of the harbor. Ships aren’t made for the harbor. They’re made to set sail. They’re made for deep waters.

     The book of 2 Chronicles chapter 20 tells us the reason why Jehoshaphat failed. He chose the wrong partner. He formed a partnership with a guy who was not honoring God, and God cannot honor half a partnership. He made an unholy alliance. The Bible says:

     Sometime later King Jehoshaphat of Judah made an alliance with King Ahaziah of Israel, who was very wicked, which was a wrong thing to do. Together they built a fleet of trading ships at the port of Ezion-Geber. Then Eliezer prophesied against Jehoshaphat. He said, “Because you have allied yourself with King Ahaziah, the Lord will destroy your work.” So the ships met with disaster and never put out to sea. (2 Chronicles 20:35–37, NLT+NCV)

     Jehoshaphat made these partnerships that were the reason for his failure. For those who are business owners, if you are in partnerships with somebody who is not honoring God, know that God cannot bless a business where you’re an equal partner with somebody who is totally going the opposite direction than you are. The Bible says this:

     “Be careful how you act; these are difficult days. Don’t be fools; be wise: make the most of every opportunity you have for doing good.” Ephesians 5:15–16 (LB)

     The Bible says, “Make the most of every opportunity that you have for doing good. That’s what I want us to focus on today. How do you make the most of every opportunity in your life? How do you get your ship out of the harbor, so it doesn’t get shipwrecked before you even sail? How do you live the life of your dreams?

     The Bible teaches we’re to do five very specific things. First,


     There are actually three kinds of people in life: There are . At every point in life, you’re doing one of those three things—accusing or excusing or choosing.

     Accusers are people who spend their entire lives blaming everybody else for their stress, blaming everybody else for their unhappiness. Accusers spend their lives blaming everybody else for why they haven’t gotten further along in life. Accusers say things like “If I had a different husband . . . If I had a different parent . . . If I had a different wife . . . If my boyfriend . . . It’s all their fault.” They act like victims. They blame everybody else for their unhappiness.

     This is as old as Adam and Eve. When Adam sinned, he blamed his wife, and then he blamed God. He said, “Lord the woman you gave me gave me this fruit to eat.” He was an accuser.

     Then there are the excusers. Excusers make excuses for why they’re not doing something with their life. They say: “If this were different . . . if that were different . . .” They’re always making excuses. People good at excuse-making are often not good at solving problems.

     My good friend, you’re never going to get ahead in life by being an accuser or an excuser.

     You need to be a chooser.

     The Bible says that you were created in the image of God. God says, “Let us make man in our own image.”  That means God gave you the freedom to make choices. You have the freedom to waste your life. You can walk away from God. You can do your own thing. While you’re not free from the consequences of that, you are free to make that choice. And a lot of people make the wrong choice in life.

     Choosers are people who say, “I’m going to accept the responsibility for the direction of my life.” The Bible says this:

      “We are each responsible for our own conduct” (Galatians 6:5, NLT).

     What I’m saying is your choices have as much influence over who you are as your circumstances do. You cannot control your circumstances in life. But you can control how you choose to respond to them. You can respond in faith. You can respond in gratitude. You can respond in believing God. You can respond in trust and in surrender. There are all kinds of things you can do. It’s your choice.

     My friend, happiness is a choice. You are as happy as you choose to be. Don’t blame other people for your unhappiness. Nobody can make you frustrated or unhappy without your permission.

    • You are as disciplined as you choose to be. 
    • You are as productive as you choose to be. 
    • You’re as close to God as you choose to be. 

    Don’t blame somebody else. God has given you the power of choice.

     So let me ask you a personal question. Who are you blaming for your stress and unhappiness?

     Are you still saying, “If that hadn’t happened …” I’m sorry it happened. But the Bible tells us we have a choice.

     I have noticed that if I don’t want to do something, any excuse will do. It doesn’t have to be a logical excuse. It may not be acceptable to anybody, but if it is acceptable to me, then it’s okay. When it comes to living the life of your dreams, honesty is the best policy. Honest confession is good for the soul.

     If you’ve had a dream for years and never seen your ship get out of the harbor, my loving advice is, stop accusing, stop making excuses and start making positive choices in your life.



     The second key to see that dream come to reality is, you must surrender the dream to Jesus.

     The reason is because God doesn’t give you a dream, and then it happens like that. God takes a dream through six phases. I’ve seen it many times in my life and in the lives of others.

     First God gives you a dream. That’s phase one.

     Phase two is you make a decision to go after the dream. A dream is worthless unless you wake up one day and actually start to do something about it. You make a decision.

     Then phase three is delay. There’s always a delay between dream and fulfillment because while you’re working on the dream, God is working on you. God has to get you ready to launch the dream to reality.

     Have you ever been in a hurry when God wasn’t? That’s a pretty tough place to be. It’s God’s waiting rooms. We don’t like those. There is the dream, decision, and delay.

     The next phase is difficulties. You’re going to have problems with the dream.

     Then you come to phase five, which is even worse. Dead end.  It looks like it’s over. The dream’s dead. It’s taking too long, or I’m too old now; it looks like it isn’t going to happen.

     Then there is phase six, which is deliverance. God loves to turn crucifixions into resurrections. About the time you think this is a complete breakdown, you turn to God, and God causes a breakthrough.

     During all these phases, while you’re working on the dream, God is working on you. He wants you to learn to trust him. That’s the big issue. He wants you to learn to surrender to Him, to depend on Him, to have faith in Him.Paul says it like this:

     I have learned the secret of living in every situation, whether it is with a full stomach or empty, with plenty or little. For I can do everything with the help of Christ who gives me the strength I need (Philippians 4:12–13, NLT, emphasis mine).

     I want you to notice the phrase “with the help of Christ.” You must surrender the dream to God.

    Perhaps you have these great dreams you want to accomplish. It’s going to take a whole lot more than positive thinking. I’m not opposed to positive thinking. It’s certainly better than negative thinking. Positive thinking is good. But to accomplish what God wants you to accomplish in life, it takes a whole lot more than positive thinking. You need Jesus! You need God’s power in your life. You need supernatural help. It’s all about surrendering.

     Let me again ask you a personal question. Have you been trying to sail through life on your own power? How is that working out for you? My friend, you need God’s power. There is not enough natural wind to push you forward. I want you to make it a prayer and say, “God, work through me.”


     The third thing you need to do if you’re going to get your ship out of the harbor is to believe that God works in our lives according to faith. The Bible says:

     “Without faith, it’s impossible to please God” (Hebrews 11:6, NIV).

     First, decide what’s important and what’s not. What matters and what doesn’t matter. What’s going to last and what won’t last. Then set some goals around the things that last.

    My friend, a lot of what we do isn’t going to matter five years from today. If you’re going to get your ship out of the harbor, you’ve got to spend more time doing the things that God says are going to last for eternity and do fewer things that aren’t going to really matter a year or ten years or even a week from now.

     Once you’ve figured out what matters most, then you set some faith goals. The Bible says,

     “An intelligent person aims at wise actions, but a fool starts off in many directions” (Proverbs 17:24, GN).

     Jesus says in Matthew 9 “According to your faith will it be done to you.” This is one of my favorite verses in the Bible because God says, “You get to choose how much I bless your life. You have a little faith? I’ll bless your life a little. If you have a medium-size faith in me, I’ll give you a medium-sized blessing. If you have great faith in me, then I’ll bless you greatly. God says you choose the cup, and I’ll fill it. A little teacup, a five-gallon jug, a hundred-gallon barrel— I’m going to fill up whatever you give me.

     How much do you trust God? That determines the blessing in your life. Little trust, little blessing. “According to your faith it will be done unto you.”

     How do you exercise faith? One of the ways you do it is by setting faith goals. A goal is simply a statement of faith. A goal is when you say, “God, I believe you want me to accomplish this by such and such a date. It’s really going to stretch me to do it, but I believe this is what we need to do.” A goal is an evidence of faith. So you set faith goals.

     Using an acrostic, a F.A.I.T.H goal is Focused, Attainable, Individual, Trackable, and Heartfelt.

     First, a faith goal is focused. That means it needs to be specific.

     Then, it needs to be attainable. That means it has to be practical and possible. If you set an unrealistic goal, you’re not going to accomplish it, and you’ll get discouraged.

     It needs to be individual. A faith goal is a personal goal. You cannot set goals over what you do not have any control. You have to start with you. You take personal ownership of your goals.

     Then, it has to be trackable. That means you set a goal that has a deadline on it. Ask yourself, “when do I want to accomplish this by,” that way, it is measurable.  If it doesn’t have a date on it, it’s not a goal.

     Then, it needs to be heartfelt. You ask yourself, does this motivate me? Am I passionate about it? Never set a goal that you’re not passionate about because you’re not going to accomplish it.

     So if you want to live your life dreams, you need to set some faith goals.

     In summary, F.A.I.T.H goals are:

     F—Focused. Goal must be specific

    A—Attainable. Goal must be possible and practical

    I—Individual. Take personal ownership of your goals

    T—Trackable. Can you measure your progress?

    H—Heartfelt.  Does it motivate you? Does it stir your passion?

     4. YOU START NOW!

     When do you get your ship out of the harbor? Not tomorrow. Not next week. Not when things get better. Not when you feel like it. You start now. Today or this weekend, you need to sit down and set some goals for the next sixty days. What are you going to accomplish in the next season? You don’t wait any longer. You don’t delay. You stop procrastinating. You start today!

     The point is, there will never be an ideal time to get your ship out of the harbor. If you wait for a perfect time, it’s never going to happen. Procrastination is fueled by perfectionism.

     We often say, “I’m waiting for the perfect moment. When things get right, then I’m going to start doing this or that”. My friend, you’re never going to do it if you keep waiting for “the right time” because it’s never going to come.  In fact the best time is when things are not going well because you want God’s help to get out of the bad seasons.

    Life has to be lived in less than perfect circumstances. So you have to start now. The Bible says,

     “If you wait until the wind and the weather are just right, you will never plant anything and never harvest anything. If you wait for perfect conditions, you’ll never get anything done” (Ecclesiastes 11:4, GN+LB).

      Clearly, if you wait for perfect conditions, you’re never going to get your ship out of the harbor.


     What you need to do if you have a dream is to get somebody else involved in it. Get a good and trustworthy friend or family member who will encourage you and work with you. You must select the right partner, not the wrong one.

     The Bible says this:

     Two people are better off than one, for they can help each other succeed. If one person falls, the other can reach out and help. But someone who falls alone is in real trouble.” (Ecclesiastes, 4:9–10).

     Everybody needs a partner. Success is rarely a one-person show. All of the great accomplishments in history have had a great team, even if one person kind of took the lead on it. Nobody does it alone, and your ship is not going to get out of the harbor unless you have a partner. But get the right partner.

     So, to live the life of your dreams, you must: 

    • Stop making excusers
    • Surrender the dream to Jesus
    • Set some faith goals
    • Start now
    • Select a partner to help you

      My friend, God, has given every one of us great opportunities to live the life of our dreams.


     The Bible tells us that God creates opportunities for everyone, and these opportunities are catalysts or drivers for growth and success. These opportunities are doors that will lead us to success and victory when we walk through them. The beautiful thing is that God has told us of these opportunities so that we will recognize them. God is an equal opportunity, God.  Wise King Solomon tells us,

     I have observed something else under the sun. The fastest runner doesn’t always win the race, and the strongest warrior doesn’t always win the battle. The wise sometimes go hungry, and the skillful are not necessarily wealthy. And those who are educated don’t always lead successful lives. It is all decided by being in the right place at the right time. Ecclesiastes 9:11 (NLT)

     King Solomon tells us success is “all decided by being in the right place at the right time.” In other words, success comes to those who take advantage of right moments.

     What are these right moments? How do you take advantage of these opportunities that will inevitable come your way that will lead to your success when you pursue them?

     I want to share with you some profound wisdom to help you discover these key drivers of success or catalysts of growth.

     I would give you Bible scriptures with little commentary because I want God’s Word to speak to you directly. Please reflect on these scriptures. They are loaded with virtues for success. More importantly, do the five things I going to share with you now.

     The Bible uses the word opportunity in the following bible verses. Your success will come from taking advantage of these opportunities.



     Ponder over these scriptures:

     “Encourage each other every day while you have the OPPORTUNITY [emphasis added]” (Hebrews 3:13, GW)  

     “As we have OPPORTUNITY, let us do good to all people [emphasis added]” (Galatians 6:10, NIV)

     Make it your priority to build and deepen relationships wherever you are, because that is your ticket to success. The greatest lesson you can learn in life is learning how to love. You were made to love God and to love others. Jesus said the greatest purpose in life is to love God with all your heart, soul, and strength, and the second is equally important, which is to love your neighbor as yourself.

     Everybody flourishes in an environment of deep, loyal relationships. True growth and development happen in the context of relationships. You will accomplish so much more when you live life with others instead of by yourself. So take the time to develop strong and effective connections with people.


     Reflect on this scripture verse.

    Dear brothers and sisters, whenever trouble comes your way, let it be an OPPORTUNITY for joy. For when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be STRONG IN CHARACTER and READY FOR ANYTHING [emphasis added] (James 1:2–4).

     God has given every one of us great opportunities to live the life of our dreams. Even your obstacles and problems are an opportunity. Please remember that whenever you’re having a problem, it is an opportunity to trust God. It is an opportunity for growth. It is an opportunity for you to become bigger than you were. Every problem has a purpose, and the purpose is to teach you to trust God and to help you grow.


     Reflect on this scripture verse.

     Don’t use your freedom as an excuse to do anything you want. Use it as an OPPORTUNITY to SERVE each other with love [emphasis added] (Galatians 5:13, CEV).

     When a service opportunity comes your way, don’t run away from it. Jump on it. Volunteer to do things without being asked; that is your window of opportunity to be successful.

     Service is a vehicle for growth and more blessings.


     The Bible says,

    “Those in frequent contact with the things the world offers should make good use of their OPPORTUNITIES without stopping to enjoy them; for the world in its present form will soon be gone [emphasis added]1 Corinthians 7:31 (LB).

     The Apostle Paul says, “Those in frequent contact with the things the world offers,” by the way that is most people who live in the advanced world. What is he saying? He’s saying these material possessions “will soon be gone,” so here’s what you do with what God has given you. Use your personal possessions to bless others. You have been blessed to bless others.

     The Bible says,

    God will give you many OPPORTUNITIES to do good, and He will produce a great HARVEST OF GENEROSITY in you [emphasis added] (2 Corinthians 9:10, NLT).

     God didn’t give you all the material possessions you have just to use them solely on yourself. God is saying, “I’ve been generous with you. I want you to be generous with others.”

    Generosity is a facilitator for growth and success.


     If you haven’t accepted Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and Savior, if you haven’t said yes to Him, now is the time. The Bible says this about people who are not enthusiastic about being born spiritually.

     “They have the OPPORTUNITY to live again, but . . . they are like a baby who is about to be born but won’t come out of its mother’s womb!” (Hosea 13:13, GW)

    At some point, you have to decide to open your life to Jesus Christ. One of the saddest verses in the Bible is this:

     “The summer has ended, and we are not saved.” (Jeremiah 8:20, NKJV)

     Friend, I don’t want you to get to the next season, and you’re not saved. We’re not guaranteed tomorrow. You never know when your time on earth is up. Each of us is going to die and face God. It is unwise to go through life totally unprepared for something that is inevitable. So please, my friend, settle it today. The Bible says,

     God is patient for your sake. He doesn’t want to destroy anyone but wants ALL PEOPLE to have an OPPORTUNITY to turn to Him and change the way they think and act . . . Look on our Lord’s patience as the OPPORTUNITY He is giving you to be saved [emphasis added] (2 Peter 3:9, 15, GW+GN).

     Are you a believer? If so, here’s some good advice to help facilitate the salvation of your non-believing relatives and friends:

     Be wise in the way you act with people who are not believers, making the most of every OPPORTUNITY. Always be kind and pleasant so you will be able to answer everyone in the way you should (Colossians 4:5–6 NCV, emphasis added).

     Today’s your day to begin an amazing life adventure! Don’t put off the opportunity to begin a new life with Jesus. God has been patient with you. Start right away.

     Please pray with me.


     Father, empower me to take advantage of the opportunities you give me to deepen relationships, develop my character, serve others, and to practice generosity. I don’t want to miss out on these drivers of success.

     Jesus, I want to begin a new life with you. Today I put my life and my destiny in your hands. I never want to go another day without having you as my Lord and Savior. I want to know for sure that if I died today, I would go to heaven.

     Lord, Jesus, I don’t understand it all, but right now, I’m saying, “yes to your will for my life.” I trust you as my Savior. I ask you to forgive my sins and come into my life. Lord, help me to learn to love you and to trust you.

     Father, bless my life this week. Help me to set FAITH goals and to serve you. Help me to soar higher than my wildest dreams. I ask all this in Jesus' name, Amen!

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