Why Pray When God Already Knows What You Need?

 

Are you thinking sometimes God plays dumb when you are obviously in need and he does nothing about it? He sees, right? The all-knowing God certainly knows when there is lack on your horizon. Then why doesn't he do something without your pressing him with requests? Let me give you a little glimpse into a father's heart...

I remember one time when I was a kid I had a pair of sneakers that were old and holes started appearing near the toes. I would purposely look down at my old shoes while my dad was looking. My hope of course, was that he too, would look down and notice my worn out shoes. He did. But he never said a peep about them. He let me wear those things week after week until the holes became so big that my socks got drenched when I walked in the rain.

Speaking Up

Eventually, I had enough silence. I went up to my dad and said, "Dad, have you noticed that I need new shoes?" He said, "Yep.” I said, "Well, when are you going to get me new ones?" He said, "When you ask." Lesson learned. My dad wanted to be asked.

I don't know why that was so important to my dad. Maybe so I could establish a feeling of dependency on him. Had he taken me to the store without my asking for new shoes, I may not have felt how humbling it was to be reliant on him.

Aware vs. Involved

Whatever the case, my dad just preferred to be asked. That's all I needed to know. From then on, when I needed something I wasn't bashful about it. I went up to him boldly and stated my case. And he walked away loving the idea that he could give me something I needed.

Why pray? Because God likes to be asked.

So go with it...

Ask!

So now that you know God is aware of your need, ask him to get involved in your need. That may be the only reason he has waited!

Here are a couple of prayer-starters to get you going:

▪ Father, I know you already see that I need _____________. I know you are aware of my need, but now I ask you to get involved. Please supply__________________ according to your riches in glory. I am making an effort to seek your kingdom first and as I do, your Word says that everything else that I need will be taken care of. Thank you for that. Thank you for seeing what I lack and thank you for going to work on my behalf to provide it. In Jesus Name, Amen.

▪ Father, I thank you that you do see what I need. And you know what I need before I even ask. It's kinda crazy that you want me to ask you to intervene in situations you are already aware, but right now I ask for your involvement. I ask that you help me with this situation regarding _________________. I don't know what to do about it, but you do. Your word says that you will guide me and direct my steps. Lord, I'm calling on you and your Word says you will answer me and tell me great and unsearchable things I do not know. I am asking that you show me how to handle this the way you would want me to handle it. In Jesus Name, Amen. Thank you God, I give you the honor and praise!

Have you ever wondered why you have to ask for something God already knows you need? How do you handle it? Let us know in the comment section.

This post is an excerpt from my newest book, Grabbing God's Attention: The Art of Praying Like a Pro. You can click here if you are interested in scooping up a copy, Amazon has it. Smashwords has it for various eReaders. Or if you would like the PDF version that you can print (which is especially useful if you want to write in the Taking-Action sections of the book): Clicky here!

Photo of shoe: Google Images

 

The Secret to Never Forgetting to Pray for Anyone. Guaranteed.

I'm driving in my car on my way to my next appointment. I pass a car that looks like it could be someone I know. Suddenly my mind wanders over into, "Hey, I wonder how her mom's chemo treatments are going?"  I think: "I'll have to remember to pray for her later."

I arrive at my destination. I park and hop out of my car. My mind thinks back to a conversation I had with my daughter. She was concerned about a test she was taking. I'll have to remember to pray for that later too. I'll make a mental note.

Then I grab a cup of coffee and get seated at my meeting. I bump into Greg who tells me his neighbor was hit by a car last week. He's still in ICU fighting for his life. Wow! Add that one to the top of the list to pray for...later.

By now I've got quite a list going. Problem is - as important as these prayer needs are, they will fall off my list if I don't write them down.  And then even if I do, will I remember to grab the list before I start praying? Maybe. Maybe not.

So what usually happens?

My great intention to pray for all of these needs gets sidelined by busyness, distractions, and yep - my wandering mind. It's not that I intentionally forget to pray for these needs. I just don't remember.

Confession - I have a wandering mind. Researchers say that's because I have more brain capacity than most, which allows me to jump to other thoughts while on a task or subject. Hee hee! (Love that!) You too?! How smart we both are! But wandering thoughts get us in pickles. Especially when it comes to prayer.

Want to know the secret to never, EVER forgetting to pray for something or someone?

Pray it now!

Later may never come.

How bout the next time you realize someone needs prayer - you stop right there and pray? I've adopted this philosophy: When I can, when someone comes to mind, or when someone asks me to pray for them - I pray it now!

Eph 6:18 (AMP) says,

"Pray at all times (on every occasion, in every season) in the Spirit, with all [manner of] prayer and entreaty."

Pray It Now!

This means we can pray anytime, anywhere. We don't have to wait until we are in the right mood to pray. We don't even have to wait until we are in the right setting. Anytime, anywhere is a good time to whisper a prayer.

I'm not suggesting we give up our scheduled prayer time and switch to praying by the seat of our pants. No, we need to have a quiet time set aside where we can zero in on God with no other distractions. But when a prayer need becomes a distraction - because the need comes to mind - Pray it now! 

Bet you'll make more of a difference in people's lives. And think, the next time you see that person who needs a prayer, you won't have to say: "Yeah, I'll be praying for you. You're on my FUTURE prayer list." Or, "I'll get around to praying for you - if I don't forget!" Nope! You can ecstatically say:  "I was praying for you the other day!"

Mission Accomplished. Feels good, right?!

Pray it now!

Has it been challenging for you remembering to pray for other people? When's the last time you dropped everything and prayed for someone who came to mind? Leave your reply in the comment section. 

How God Uses You Through Prayer

Prayer is like improv theater. Ever watched "Who's Line Is It Anyway"? That show had me rolling on the floor! The American version of the popular British improvisational comedy show starred Drew Carey as the host. Carey would take suggestions from the audience and assign roles and scenarios to the comedian contestants, who then improvised a skit on the spot. If you need a good laugh, Google it. The reruns will have you in stitches!

In kind of the same way, C.S. Lewis wrote this about prayer and I just love it. In effect, he said,

The scene and the general outline of the story is fixed by the author (God), but certain minor details are left for the actors to improvise. It may be a mystery why He should allow us to be a change agent of sorts.

What Lewis was describing is like a scene from "Who's Line Is It Anyway" or any other improv theater. It's as if God gives us the outline but we are left to improvise. And we do so by our prayers. God uses prayer as the method to make things happen.

Why would God use prayer as the method of change?

I can only guess. But this I know: God made things happen with his words. He made things, created things, and changed things with the words he spoke. How did he create the world? By speaking it into existence. Words spoken bring change.

The Bible says we are called to imitate God.

If we are to do life like him, it's no surprise then that prayer is the method he chooses for us to intervene in the world. By our prayers we speak. And when we do, things take shape. Things move. Things happen. If it's the method God himself chose, it makes sense then that it's the method he chooses for us to use as well. He wants us to be like him. To speak like him.

Jesus told a fig tree to wither up and die. It listened. The next time he passed by - it was a goner! In fact, Jesus tells us to speak to the mountains that stand in our way. You can check it out. Look what Jesus told them:

I tell you the truth, if you had faith even as small as a mustard seed, you could say to this mountain, 'Move from here to there,' and it would move. Nothing would be impossible." Matthew 17:20 NLT

He actually instructed us to tell whatever stands in our way "where to go"! Bet there's a lot of people you'd like to tell where to go! Do it. But be nice!

Mark Batterson says in his book, The Circle Maker,

We control our world through prayer. What we speak occurs. Prayer is prophesy.

Prophesy is speaking something that is going to come to pass. Wow! If you have faith to make something happen by speaking to it - look out!

So prayer is like grabbing the outline that God has ordained and improvising or fleshing out the scene with our prayers. It's his method. When we use it, we change the world. Cool that he let's us do that!

And we don't just get to do it, we were told to do it. Genesis 1:26 (KJV) says,

Let us make man inn our image, in our likeness; and let them have dominion…over all the earth.

When God gave man dominion, he gave him the freedom to act as his authority figure on earth. So again, it's as if God sets the stage with the outline of his will. And we are the actors who improvise as we take dominion over the earth. We are told to make things happen, to take charge. This is why we pray. And this is why prayer changes things. And this is how God uses you through prayer.

Get ready to speak your lines. Prayer is not your prerogative; it's your assignment.

Who's line is it anyway?….It's yours. Speak!

This post is an excerpt from my newest book, Grabbing God's Attention: The Art of Praying Like a Pro. You can click here if you are interested in scooping up a copy. Amazon has it. Or if you would like the PDF version that you can print (which is especially useful if you want to write in the Taking-Action sections of the book): Clicky here!

What do you think about the idea that you get to improvise with your prayers and make things happen on the earth? What have you prayed for that recently took shape? Go to the comment section above the post and share with us. Looking forward to reading what you have to say!

Dr. Linda

 

A Sure Way to Get People Praying For You

So you're going through a tough time. Life has sucked the snot out of you and you are barely crawling to the finish line. Well, maybe it's NOT that bad! But you are up against a wall in some area of your life, right? I'm with ya. And a few times it crossed your mind, "I sure hope someone, anyone, is praying for me!"

That would be cool, huh? Feeling the prayers of others wrapping around you, offering you a hedge of protection, and issuing a wave of blessing in your life. Who wouldn't want that?

But then you wonder… “Is there anyone praying for me? Am I on anyone's radar? Do I come to mind as others are praying?”

There is one sure way to make that happen:

Pray for them.

Pray for who?

Anyone who comes to your mind.

The janitor who empties the garbage in your building, the guy who whizzed by you on the highway this morning, the gal who checked out your groceries, the pastor who preached his heart out to you last Sunday, the babysitter who watched your kids, the telemarketer who illegally called your cell phone after 9pm the other night…you get the idea.

Pray. Pray for ANY of them. Pray for ALL of them. Pray for them when they come to mind. Pray when you know what they are up against. Pray when you don't have a clue what's going on in their world. If you want others praying for you…you have to get the ball rolling.

How do I know it's up to you to get the ball rolling?

Take a look at Matt 7:2b

…the amount you give to others will be given to you [or the standard you use for others will be the standard used for you; with the measure you measure, it will be measured to you]. (Expanded Version)

This principle works in all areas of our lives:

  • If you want to have friends, you must show yourself friendly (Proverbs 18:24 KJV)
  • He who refreshes others will himself be refreshed (Proverbs 11:25)
  • Forgive and you will be forgiven (Luke 6:37-42)
  • What you sow comes back to you (Galatians 6:7)

Jesus was the one who started this whole thing:

[So always; So in everything] Do to others [Treat others as] you want them to do to [treat] you. This is [sums up; is the essence of] the meaning of the law of Moses and the teaching of the prophets…Matt 7:12 (The Expanded Version)

Can you say boomerang baby?! What you throw out there is gonna come back to you! You can't get out of the way! This principle will hunt you down and chase you. What you do for others will end up back in your lap! That's something to bank on.

So yes, I believe it's safe to say, the amount of time you spend praying for others can determine how much time others spend praying for you. 

Funny how we want to reap a harvest we didn't plant for. Before you determine what kind of harvest you want, figure out how much seeding or planting you're willing to do. Only then will your harvest be guaranteed!

You want two people praying for you? Ok, then pray for two people.

You want 20-30 praying for you, ok, then get praying for 20-30 people.

You want the masses praying for you, ok, you get my drift don't you?!

Sow the kind of seed you want to reap.

It's up to you how many people will be praying for you…and how many won't!

What say you? Leave your thoughts for us to chew on in the comment section. Thanks!


How to Turn Your Wimpy Prayers Into Bold Ones

If you're thinking God is hard of hearing, then shout louder!

“Shout you say?”

“At God?”

Yes!!!

When you don't think someone hears you, you inch the volume up a bit, right? And what you say becomes a little more, shall we say…forceful? Bolder? Like, "Hey, I'm speaking to you, listen-to-me" kinda voice.

This is the way I used to talk to my grandfather when he didn't hear me. My voice got louder so he would notice that I was trying to grab his attention. My volume increased but my respect for him remained in tack. I got bolder but with no disrespect. I just got a little feistier!

God Wants You to Pump Up the Volume!

It's in a similar way that God invites us to speak to him. God is not really hard of hearing, but sometimes it seems he is. Can you relate? Don't fear, he allows us to come at him boldly. It isn't a sign of disrespect, it's a sign that we are comfortable approaching him like we do an elder of our family. It's because we know he loves us that we can talk to him in a loud voice and with gutsy gumption!

Look at how this blind guy in the Bible got what he needed because he raised his voice (This is found in Mark 10:52):

"As Jesus was leaving town, trailed by his disciples and a parade of people, a blind beggar by the name of Bartimaeus, son of Timaeus, was sitting alongside the road. When he heard that Jesus the Nazarene was passing by, he began to cry out, "Son of David, Jesus! Mercy, have mercy on me!" Many tried to hush him up, but he yelled all the louder, "Son of David! Mercy, have mercy on me!"

49-50Jesus stopped in his tracks. "Call him over."

They called him. "It's your lucky day! Get up! He's calling you to come!" Throwing off his coat, he was on his feet at once and came to Jesus.

51Jesus said, "What can I do for you?"

The blind man said, "Rabbi, I want to see."

52"On your way," said Jesus. "Your faith has saved and healed you."

In that very instant he recovered his sight and followed Jesus down the road."

Blind Bartimeaus wouldn't have been healed had he not screamed!

Need a little more convincing that you can pump up the volume with your prayers? Look at this verse that shows what I am talking about:

“So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most.” Hebrews 4:16 (NLT)

To be bold is to be:

  • Confident
  • Courageous
  • Forward
  • Strong
  • Firm

Is that how you prayed today?

Or were you more:

  • Timid
  • Hesitant
  • Bashful

Think about it. God is saying you can come at him with confidence, strength, and firmness so you can receive what you need from him.

James 5:16b (KJV) says:

“The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.”

Fervent means to have or show great intensity of spirit, feeling, and enthusiasm. Synonyms include passionate and heartfelt. On the flip side, an ineffective prayer is one that is subdued, dispassionate, and not heartfelt.

So the next time you think God isn't listening, or when you're tempted to think he's hard of hearing... speak up. Talk a little louder. Put a bit of boldness in your voice. Feel it as you speak it. Get passionate if you want it bad enough!

Get the book that is changing the way people pray!  Grabbing God's Attention: The Art of Praying Like a Pro. You can click here if you are interested in scooping up a copy, Amazon has it. Smashwords has it for various eReaders. Or if you would like the PDF version that you can print (which is especially useful if you want to write in the Taking-Action sections of the book): Clicky here!

How did you pray today? Tell us why it's sometimes hard to muster up the boldness as you talk to God. Share with us in the comment section - Thanks for your input!