“I just want God to make it clear what He wants me to do. I need Him to answer my prayer in a way that is clear for me to understand.”
The comment came from a friend struggling with an issue. Many people had offered sound advice. Sermons had been preached around her that related to her situation. She still wrestled with knowing how to get an answer from God.
We are told to dig into the Word before we come into the battle because once in the trenches the light gets tough to see. My friend was deep in battle and had fallen into the troubles without the right armor to help her through.
Tips for Getting Prayers Answered
1. Know the Word – God has offered many promises for His children, but it is the job of the children to know those promises. I should be willing to spend at least the same amount of time in the Word of God that I give other media outlets.
2. Know the want – My four year old will stand and look at me without saying a word. Sometimes he just holds out an empty glass. I wait patiently for him to tell me what he wants even though I already know what he wants. It teaches him to ask for the thing that he specifically needs or wants. God waits on my to make my requests known even though He already knows all that I will ever need.
3. Protect the thoughts – Thoughts give birth to attitudes which will eventually control all actions. The thoughts that I allow to roam through my brain must match up with the Word and the want.
4. Protect the mind – The seeds planted in the mind give birth to the thoughts that eventually control the heart. I have to continually put into my mind the things that support the Word and lift up the heart.
5. Look for the quiet – The noise of the world will crowd out the voice of the spirit. I have to choose to get away from the static around me and get to a place where the still and quiet can dominate.
6. Look for the answer – Faith in prayer is revealed by the expectation of the heart. I show my belief when I begin actively looking for the answer.
7. Give it all – I have to be willing to back up my prayers with action in heart, mind, and body. My part in the answered prayer comes in doing all that I know to do and that I have been led to do without hesitation.
8. Give praise and thanks – Take time to thank God for the answered prayer and show others His amazing blessing in your life.
No magic formula exists for getting the answers that you seek. It comes back to a personal relationship with the Giver. Get into the Word and understand all that He desires for your life. Then you will have the boldness to stand firm in faith in those promises and to share the blessing of answered prayers with all that you encounter.
You have to have rules. Rules govern where you are going and how you are going to get there. Rules keep you focused on the prize and moving in that direction. Rules push the distractions to the side and manage to keep them there (most of the time).
But the one rule we all know is that there is an exception to every rule.
Tonight, I took my three boys to the buffet at CiCi’s Pizza for the first time in several years. I am not a big fan of buffets. I am not a big fan of eating in at what I consider fast food. Tonight I made an exception, and I learned a wonderful lesson that will help me as I move forward in my success – all because I made an exception to my rules.
The two older boys tore into the buffet like I had not fed them in months. Maybe it was not that bad, but it feels that way when you are dealing with teen boys. They actually made some wise choices and thought about what they wanted before piling a lot of stuff on their plates.
The younger son was not quite as focused. The game room offered more interest than the yards of fresh pizza he had the opportunity to test. He wanted to play. Mom wanted him to eat. He agreed to try some of the pasta and three types of pizza – and by try I mean he took one bite and then turned his attention back to the game room.
“Please eat.” I tried to convince him.
“My stomach is just not in the mood for pizza right now.” Yes, those were his actual words.
“What is your stomach in the mood for right now?”
“It could eat a brownie.”
The negotiations ended with him eating half of his pasta and then a brownie. He thought his stomach might be hungry for pizza later. I approached the manager and asked for something to take home the three pieces that he had eaten from.
“This is a buffet.” It is not that his comment was rude, but the more I thought about it the more I realized it was insulting. I knew it was a buffet. I asked for the buffet when I came in and ordered. I paid for the buffet. I read the sign that said “buffet.” He did not need to tell me it was a buffet.
I let that pass. “I just hate to see the pieces thrown in the trash. He only took one bite off of them.”
“Take out pieces are $.70 per slice.”
“Per slice?” I looked at the wall next to where he was sitting. The special was a medium, one topping pizza for $3.99. He wanted me to pay $2.10 for pizza that would be thrown in the garbage after we left. It made no sense. “I just did not want to waste it since he said he might eat it later.”
“Tell him to eat it now.”
I did not tell my son to eat it now. He said he was satisfied and I accepted that.
For the next two hours I have mulled over the situation. I understand that there has to be rules, but I also accept that there have to be educated exceptions to the rules if you want to grow relationships and build your success.
I will not be making an exception to my eating out rules again – at least not where CiCi’s is concerned. I do thank that manager for reminding me that if I want to grow relationships (and I do, since I know relationships are the foundation of success) that I have to put people above the rules. A little common sense can go a long ways towards building the relationships.
What do you think about rules? Share your best “stick to the rules” story or “the rules should have been ignored” moment. Please tell me I am not alone in thinking that rules are important, but never more important than people.
I am unique in all the world. I share this fact often enough that I probably need to have cards made up. I got the concept from “The Little Prince,” but I have allowed the idea behind the words to mold me in my journey.
I am unique. No other person on this planet thinks just like me (and all my family shouted, ‘amen’). I have a unique DNA. My experiences are unique to my background, upbringing and education. Even a person that has walked down a similar path (even my own siblings) are not like me.
I know that I am unique, and yet I often find myself trying to crawl into one box or another. I started to crawl into the box of “I need to be popular” when I was in high school. A graduating senior sat me down and gave me the honest reality. He said, “I played the game. It is not worth it.” So, I closed the box and walked away.
I tried to shove myself in the “good girlfriend” box when I dated a guy in college. I dressed like he wanted me to dress. I talked to the people he thought were okay. One day, I looked at myself in my own mirror and I no longer recognized the person looking back at me. I clawed my way out of that box and ran from it.
I launched my writing career in 2005. I followed the advice of all the people in the industry. I read the right books. I did what they told me to do. And then I looked around and realized I was back in a box. I kicked and I hit and I screamed, but the box held. I was locked in. And then I looked up and realized that no matter how tightly THEY might lock me in, the keys are held by One higher than them. I asked, He opened, and I walked away from the box.
I am the only one of me that will ever exist. Nothing in this world can tell me how to be me. Nothing in this world can show me the right path. I will only become the one I was designed to become when I choose to turn to the One that designed me.
I am not always productive.
My Saturdays waste way – untapped of their potential. I spend most of the time curled up in front of the television catching up on the week’s series or watching reruns of shows that I may have missed. Nothing happens but the passing of time.
Wednesday, I committed to doing those things that I know to do so I can get to the place I want to be. Today is Saturday once again. I am determined to live up to my commitment even if that means I have no idea what happened in the Abbey.
It has been easy – or at least easier than I thought it would be. I tucked myself away from electronics, leaving me plenty of time to think and meditate on more important things. I can focus on words, and that makes for a pretty productive morning.
Discovering the Path to Productive
1. No interruptions – a day without distractions means a day with lots accomplished.
2. No responsibility – when I am out, then I am not responsible. The kids are not going to come to me wondering about food, entertainment or who hit first. Alone is a place where mom does not have to know it all or do it all.
3. More white noise – music or movies running in the background can become a distraction. Singing birds, running water or the breeze dancing in the leaves offers my mind somewhere to roam but not a distraction from the words that need to be written.
4. Early to rise – the crack of dawn means nobody on Facebook for me to chat with, nobody awake to give me something to do, and plenty of opportunity to fill the pages with words overflowing. I get even more focused and excited as the sun rises up over the mountains.
Finding ways to make life more productive is important, but there is one thing that is even more important. I have to make the choice to do what I need to do. I have to make the choice to write the words. I have to make the choice not to chase down the distractions.
It all comes back around to my own choice. I must choose the right actions if I want to get the desired results. If I am not getting the results that I desire, then I must evaluate my actions and make the choice to change.
Are you committed to doing what needs to be done to get to where you want to be? How are you doing it? I would love to hear your stories of commitment and change. Share in a comment or link to your own post about change.