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!

 

What Ripped Prom Pants Have to Do With Praying and Solving Your Problems

He had the pink rose corsage atop a glamorous rhinestone bracelet, he had the prom tickets, he had the stunning date. Everything was perfect.

Until he was about to walk out the door.
Then the scream.
“Mom?!”
“Yes, son?”
“I have a hole in the side of my suit pants!”
Ut oh!

What did he do? He called for help.
Did he call for dad? Shoot no! Dad would fix the hole with duct tape.
Did he scream for his 14 year old sister? Nah...she'd probably staple it together.

He screamed for the best person for the job.
Mama to the rescue!
In under two minutes and 17 seconds, I grabbed my sewing kit, whipped out my needle and thread and said, "Ty, give me those pants, I'm gonna take care of this for you."
Within moments the problem was solved. Tyler rushed out the door, whisked his date off her feet, and they danced the night away!

Let's rewind.
Imagine a different scenario.
Tyler could have freaked out.
He could have tried to solve the problem on his own.
Or both...freak out and solve the problem on his own.

Know what he would have created?
A bigger mess.
And a frazzled state of mind.

....He would have been a fun date. Not!

But isn't that what we sometimes do when we discover a glitch that keeps us from going where we want to in life? We freak out. We try to fix a problem that we don't know how to solve. And most of the time we end up doing both, freaking out AND trying to fix the problem. Which causes a bigger problem; a bigger mess.

Here's a better option:
Fix your thoughts on God and you will have perfect peace while he gets the thing fixed.

You relax. You step aside. You surrender and let God solve your issue. You will finally be on your way without missing a beat.

Unless you freak out….Trying to fix it yourself.
Then your fix will be delayed. And so will your arrival.

I'd hate to picture this, but if my son was brainless enough to lose his cool over the rip in his pants and try to fix the hole himself, he would have made the pants look even worse. Can you imagine? Had he taken the do-it-yourself approach he would have spent three times longer on the ripped pants and arrived to the prom a half hour late. His date miffed, her dad ticked, and the whole night a downer.

When we try to take things into our own hands rather than running to God, who can fix our problem much better than we can, we risk delaying our solution.

So next time you are faced with a crisis:
• Don't freak out
• Don't fix it your way
• Ask for God’s help

"Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us…" Ephesians 3:20 (NIV)

Toss him the pants. He's gonna get it done faster and better than you can!
Mission accomplished.

Do you tend to freak out, fix it yourself, or have you found another way to deal with the problems that smack you in the face? Share in the comment section.

 

Why Pray If Not All Prayers Get Answered?

Why pray if not all prayers get answered?

Because Jesus did.

Ask a kid, "Why do you ask your mommy for a cookie every day if she doesn't always give one to you?"

Answer:  “Because then I would never get a cookie. Even if she doesn't give it to me every day, there are days when she does say yes.”

Jesus prayed prayers that didn't get answered too. We are in good company.

He was not saved from death, even though he desperately cried out to his father to save him.

Even before the crucifixion, as he knew it was coming; he asked that he would be able to escape it by saying, "Take this cup from me".

Jesus knows the sting of unanswered prayer. His longest prayer ever recorded in John 17, is a plea that all believers would be in unity. That "All of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you." Do you see that happening? Nope. Not yet. Does that mean God said no? Seems like having us all in unity would be his will, right? But it aint happening or if it is it sure is happening slowly!

So if God hasn't denied the request, then the prayer is hung up in "wait" mode. It's just not time yet for that request to be granted fully. This gives us hope. Hope that even when a request is hung up somewhere, it doesn't mean it's not going to be answered; it just may mean it's not time for it to be answered.

What about when Jesus spent the whole stinking night in prayer before he chose his 12 disciples. I'm sure the hours he sacrificed sleep were all about asking God to help him choose the right guys. And when he learned that one of them was a traitor, did he look up to God and say, “Um, did you make a mistake here about this one?” “Or did I make a mistake and not hear you correctly?” Or maybe it wasn't a mistake at all. Obviously it was a part of God's plan. Judas brought Jesus to the cross which was God's plan to begin with. See, even when it seems prayer went the wrong way; it may have been the right way after all. Who knows if the prayers you didn't think got answered, really did… with an answer you didn't recognize.

If prayer doesn't matter and God doesn't answer, then why did Jesus pray? And better yet, why did he tell us to do the same?

Jesus prayed as if it made a difference.

The Bible says we do not have certain things because we do not ask God for them. (James 4:2). Evidently God will withhold things from us if we don't ask. That right there makes me want to pray!

I once heard Myles Monroe say something about a dream he had. The gist of the dream was that God has a storehouse in heaven. God took Myles up to that storehouse to view what was on the shelves. There were all kinds of great stuff piled up in there. Stuff Myles had wanted all his life. He asked God why all of that stuff was on the shelves. God said, "Those are the things that are yours, but you never asked for them."

Not sure about you, but I don't want any of my stuff to stay on a shelf piled up somewhere. The things I want and need are there for the taking. They are there for the asking!

If prayer didn't make a difference or if God doesn't hear our prayers, then why did Jesus model a response like God's to the widow who lost her son, to the outcast woman who's bleeding would not stop, and to a Roman officer whose servant had died? In each of these events Jesus showed them that God, the Father, does hear their prayers. And that their prayers matter. Their prayers were answered.

Jesus knew more about the will of God than any other being on the face of the planet, and in the heavenlies for that matter. Yet, he still peppered God with his requests. Taking our cues from Jesus, I would say, “Yes, pray. Even if it doesn't seem to matter...it does!”

Greetings from Dr. Linda Travelute!

Hello!

I just wanted you to know that this site is currently under construction but I hope to have it fully up and running soon. Please drop by again...I am going to have some amazing life-changing stuff for you to carry out so that you too, can Pray Like a Pro!

In His Grip!

Dr. Linda Travelute