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My book, “Sings of Hope: Ways to survive in an Unfriendly World,” is an ideal Christmas present for those on your list who may be battling anxiety, fear, depression, addictions, self-doubt, hopelessness, and the many other usual suspects.
There is a special Christmas sale going on right now. In the stores the book is $19.99, but is you order from this site, it is only $15.99. The shipping is cut in half as well. You will need to order by December 17th to make sure you get the book in time.
Today’s excerpt is Chapter 14. Prayer is one of the keys to survival in a troubled world. Read how it can help you through the storms and trials.
A Lot of Kneeling Will Keep You in Good Standing
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;
he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.
Have you ever heard someone say, “I will pray for you,” and then never even spend one second doing so? This is a phrase that is used over and over again that too often doesn’t involve much follow through.
In my Bible study group, we have prayer requests at the end. I asked for prayer for a good report at an upcoming doctor’s appointment, and a friend asked for prayer about his friend who was going through a crisis. My prayer was answered when the doctor told me I did not have leukemia. But I never heard anyone tell me they had prayed for me. I had to assume they did.
As for my friend who also asked for prayer, I did pray for his friend. And when I saw him again, I let him know I had prayed. He expressed great comfort in knowing that, and he told me the story of how his friend made it through his crisis. He thanked me for praying for his friend.
Two different situations in one group, two different outcomes. One person didn’t know if the group of men had prayed for him or not. The other person knew that someone had prayed for his friend and he was grateful.
Two opportunities for people to pray and let someone know they cared enough to pray for them, but many did not follow through.
I am not telling you this so you think I am better than another Christian brother. It is an example to show you that letting someone know you care does wonders for the other person. Knowing there is someone praying for you is a tremendous encouragement.
Every time I hear from fellow Christians about something wonderful that has happened to them, their explanation is that they had prayed. This has happened so many times that there must be something to it, don’t you think? It doesn’t take a brain surgeon to see that if this happens so often, you just may want to try it!
I have had many experiences like this myself. I told you in my introduction about my desperation prayer to God onMarch 31, 2001. I have had other experiences that are on the same level. There were times during my younger years when I was a little worried about how I was going to pay the bills at the end of the month. I’d receive a check in the mail or got some money I wasn’t expecting.
Just the other day, I was completely out of cash when I got a call from a car dealer to help them move cars from their lot to the local fairgrounds for a weekend sale they were having. They paid me at the end of my time there. The day I ran out of cash a short-term job showed up for me. A coincidence? Of course not!
The real exciting answered prayer was when I prayed for God to use me for His purpose. It led to the writing of this book.
Prayer can change your life too. Prayer is powerful. God is close. God wants to listen to your prayer no matter how unimportant it may seem in the larger scheme of things. He loves to talk to you! Steady prayer is not only a way to inner peace; it will help you through many trials.
There are ways to have a productive prayer life:
- Thank God for who He is. It is God you are praying to—not some golden calf. Acknowledge Him, and thank Him for answered prayer.
- Be realistic. Don’t just go through the prayer time and say, “Well I did my prayers today. I guess I can go on.” Be earnest in your prayers to God. Be genuine in your requests to Him. Don’t just recite a prayer. Cause some blood, sweat and tears to come to you, and really talk to God in a way that He knows you mean it.
- Ask for forgiveness. You need to have a repentant mind. Always ask for forgiveness of your sins. It is good to do this in the first part of your prayer when you are also praising God for His love for you.
- Be unceasing. Continue to pray for a need, even if it isn’t answered right away. God has His own timing. He doesn’t always answer a prayer the first time. Remember that time means nothing to God. A few hours here, a few years there. God wants us to be patient and wait for His timing.
- Expect an answer. You must trust that God will answer. This may be the most important factor. You can pray all you want, but if you are not sure He will answer, He may not.
Start praying today and every day to God, and you will be amazed how you are able to cope with your daily life—no matter how tough it gets. God will help you know the purpose that He has for you.
This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything
according to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears us—
whatever we ask—we know that we have what we asked of him.
1 John 5:14–15 (emphasis mine)
Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it,
and it will be yours. And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive him, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins.
Mark 11:24–25 (emphasis mine)
- Ask people from your church how God answered prayer for them. Have them share how it changed their lives. Write each testimony down. Keep them in a safe place. Look at those testimonies any time you doubt that God will answer your prayers. What I have learned is that sometimes God is saying no to your prayer for now. He has His own timing, and He may be waiting for the right time for you.
- Read more in the Bible about prayer. There are many more passages in the Bible besides the ones I have suggested. I also recommend that you acquire a book that is full of Bible promises. This type of book lists verses that pertain to any subject, like prayer. They are great for speeding up your search.
One example that I have used through the years is The Bible Promise Book from Barbour Publishing. The copy my daughter DG gave me many years ago has a 1985 copyright date and Barbour now has several different editions for teens, graduates, nurses, men, etc. I have used my copy many times to help me when I need reassurance.
Something to Ponder
Isn’t it funny how turning to God in prayer gives you a peaceful mind, and a grateful heart?