by Dr. Charles Stanley
Thursday January 12, 2006
Praying When in Need
Life holds many stressful moments when we lack clarity on ways to proceed or help others. Through prayer, we can receive guidance. But how does it work?
Prayer starts with our transitioning from what is happening in our world to communing with the Lord and thinking about Him. By taking our eyes off the circumstances and focusing instead on God, our minds will clear (Psalms 46:10). Then we will be prepared to receive His thoughts and to offer Christ-centered petitions back to Him.
In our prayers, we are to follow the pattern that Jesus taught His disciples and be specific about the distinct needs that we see (Matthew 6:11-13). God wants not only to provide for us but also to build up our belief in Him. Increased faith comes from seeing a direct correlation between our requests and His answers. That’s why it is best to avoid general, non-specific prayers — how would you know if the Lord has responded? A prayer list can give us a picture of God at work. With a record of our petitions and His replies, our faith in the power of prayer will grow.
One request God promises to answer with a “yes” is the desire for wisdom. Whenever we need understanding, we are to petition God, and He will give it generously. He won’t criticize us or turn us away for requesting it too frequently. He desires that we have the mind of Christ (1 Corinthians 2:16).
What a marvelous God we have, who bids us come and ask. For what do you need direction?