Change Your Prayers

Christians pray. Not as often as they could. Probably because they haven’t received the answers they want. Nonetheless, God does answer prayers. He’s just picky about which ones.

Sometimes our prayers are just our whining and complaining. About how everyone else is making our life miserable. Our words are too often filled with negativity and despair. It’s time to change that. Instead …

Make this your common practice: Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you can live together whole and healed. The prayer of a person living right with God is something powerful to be reckoned with. Elijah, for instance, human just like us, prayed hard that it wouldn’t rain, and it didn’t — not a drop for three and a half years. Then he prayed that it would rain, and it did. The showers came and everything started growing again. James 5:16-18

[callout]If you want a better life than the one you’re now experiencing,
learn to pray a different way.[/callout]

Open My Eyes

I know that you are Good. Keep me from distractions. Help me see where You are in all circumstances. To look for Your Majesty in all things. I long for the fulfillment of Your promises to us.

And Elisha prayed, “Open his eyes, Lord, so that he may see.” Then the Lord opened the servant’s eyes, and he looked and saw the hills full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha. 2 Kings 6:17

On my own I can never be strong enough to do any of this.

But I don’t even have to think about that. Not ever. Because I am not on my own.

You are with me wherever I go.
You are the One Who is Invincible.

Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9

When God Answers Your Prayers

win the lottery

I have never bought a lottery ticket. But I know folks who buy them every week. They’re hoping it will be their Big Break. No doubt you’ve heard stories about Lottery Winners. And most of them end up back where they began, no matter how much they won. Why is that?

The short answer is that they didn’t change anything about how they lived. They weren’t prepared for the financial windfall. They continued with the same habits and with the same mindset. And they soon ended up back in a familiar place.

Escaping from Egypt

The same thing happened to the Children of Israel. They’d been enslaved in Egypt for as long as they could remember. And they never stopped praying that God would bring deliverance. And He did. Through a totally unexpected source.

Moses himself didn’t see it coming. But he couldn’t avoid the unmistakable voice of God (Exodus 3). After much ado (Exodus 7), Pharaoh consented to release them all. Yes, they did win the lottery – proverbially so, however.

Can you imagine?

God had great plans for His people. While they were suffering in slavery, just hoping to make it through the day, The Lord was telling them of Bigger Plans:

“When the Lord your God brings you into the land he swore to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, to give you—a land with large, flourishing cities you did not build, houses filled with all kinds of good things you did not provide, wells you did not dig, and vineyards and olive groves you did not plant—then when you eat and are satisfied, be careful that you do not forget the Lord, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery.” (Deuteronomy 6:10-12)

They headed for the Promised Land with His assurance. But they soon lost sight of it all. They criticized Moses. And wanted to go back to Egypt.

Prepare to be surprised.

God hears all your prayers. But are you ready for His answer?

A friend of mine prayed for her husband for 5 years. When her prayers were answered suddenly, she lost her bearings. She was so used to the way their relationship had been that she actually considered leaving him!

She hadn’t considered what a change in him would require in her.

Are you prepared for answered prayer?

  1. Are you constantly complaining?
  2. Or celebrating the possibilities of a beautiful relationship?
  3. How will you be different when God does answers your prayers?

As you pray, you can start your own upgrade today!

  1. Change your self-talk. Listen to what you’re saying to yourself about your mate.
  2. Believe the best. Because assuming the worst will always keep you stuck.
  3. Pray for you. An upgraded husband will need an upgraded wife.

Just ask

Several days ago, I told you a little about my identity as “The Welfare Kid,” Then I promised to tell you “tomorrow” about another Christmas experience that was even more revealing of how I saw myself. Well, here it is: better late than never.

Who doesn’t love a shopping spree?
Especially if the tab is paid with someone else’s bank account?

They picked us up on a city bus early one Saturday morning in December. Kids. Poor kids. Lots and lots of poor kids. We arrived at a discount store in the south part of town 2 hours before it was scheduled to open.

I don’t remember what the guidelines were, but I do remember that we were allowed to choose gifts for ourselves. Multiple gifts.

A very nice lady followed me all around the store, making suggestions. Other kids had piles of stuff in their carts. But I showed up at the checkout with a cotton blouse and a pair of slacks. Not the most practical for a Kansas winter. But inexpensive.

Because my mom had taught me never to ask for anything. Ever.
And to me – choosing stuff for myself without paying for it?
Well, it felt like asking. Which made me uncomfortable.

They were expecting me to break one of the most important Rules of Life: Don’t ask.

And I naturally assumed God Himself
had written those particular Rules of Life.

As I got older, some of the Scriptures confused me because they didn’t fit with what my mom taught me – or even what my church taught me.

“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.” (Matthew 7:7-8)

You do not have because you do not ask God. When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures. (James 4:2b-3)

Honestly, I still struggle with all that today. But I want to believe God’s Word.

What is it that you’re hoping for today?
Have you asked The Lord?

He will never violate another person’s will, of course. But it sounds pretty much like everything else is a possibility.

“Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.” (John 14:12-14)

Save

If you only knew …

Do you want know how loved you are? Ask The Lord. Then listen closely. He tells you in at least a million ways each and every day. In Creation. The Scriptures. His Still Small Voice.

“Holy, holy, holy is the Lord Almighty;
    the whole earth is full of his glory.” (Isaiah 6:3)

But from everlasting to everlasting
    the Lord’s love is with those who fear him,
    and his righteousness with their children’s children … (Psalm 103:17)

… and after the fire a still small voice. (1 Kings 19:12b)

The Father is so Majestic and has so much Love for you!
That’s why Jesus tells you about your need for a new wineskin.

“Neither do people pour new wine into old wineskins. If they do, the skins will burst; the wine will run out and the wineskins will be ruined. No, they pour new wine into new wineskins, and both are preserved.” (Matthew 9:17)

My Translation: He gave His life for your old one. So you have a totally New Life in Him.
Because who you used to be cannot contain all the Love He has for you.

None of the rulers of this age understood it, for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. However, as it is written:

“What no eye has seen,
what no ear has heard,
and what no human mind has conceived” —
    the things God has prepared for those who love him —

these are the things God has revealed to us by his Spirit.
The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God.
(1 Corinthians 2:8-10)