Impacting Cities & Communities thru Prayer
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Over the years the Lord has shown me some things that have helped me when praying for my circumstances and situations. There have been three major changes in the way I now pray. What I am about to share with you, when put into practice, will help you to be successful in your prayer life. These principles can be applied to any circumstance that you are facing. I am going to share with you the first major change in my prayer life.
Several years ago, while sitting in my sister’s townhouse where I was house-sitting, I was praying about some things that were going in my life. As I was praying, it felt like my prayers were bouncing off the ceiling. I was getting frustrated. Before I continue, you need to understand what frustration means. Several years before, I was working in a hotel, and on my lunch break I would go up to the top elevator room. As I was sitting there one day, the Lord spoke to me and asked me to define frustration. After a couple of minutes of trying to come up with a definition, this is how the Lord defined frustration to me: ”Frustration is trying to control circumstances that are beyond your control.” After thinking about it for a couple of minutes, I could see what He meant, and I have never forgotten that, and I also realized that I was trying to control the circumstances in my life that were beyond my control. If your are frustrated about the circumstances in your life right now, you are trying to control them and they are beyond your control; but not beyond the Lord’s control.
After a while I stopped praying and asked the Lord what the problem was. He told me to listen to the way I was praying. So I started praying again and I noticed that every other word was “I need,” “Lord, I need this, Lord, I need that.” It dawned on me that I was focusing my prayers on “my needs.” I was so focused on “my needs” that I could not pray for someone else. I asked the Lord how to go about changing the way I pray. What I am about to share with you now is His reply. It will remove the frustration and it will free you up to pray for others.
Are you ready to end the frustration and see the Lord do “exceedingly, abundantly above all the you can ask or think?”
You will need to get a piece of paper, or you can do this on your computer.
FIRST: WRITE DOWN EXACTLY WHAT THE CIRCUMSTANCE IS
Whether you are praying for a car, finances, whatever the situation may, write down exactly what you need. Be very specific.
SECOND: I PETER 5:7 SAYS “TO CAST ALL YOUR CARE ON HIM BECAUSE HE CARES FOR YOU.”
I will explain this a little later, and show you how to do this. I will give you a sample prayer using all these steps that ties them together.
THIRD: JAMES 1:5-6 TELLS US THE WE CAN ASK THE LORD FOR HIS WISDOM IN THIS CIRCUMSTANCE OR CIRCMSTANCES.
The Amplified Bible defines wisdom as the comprehensive insight into God’s ways and purposes. We want His perspective on this circumstance or circumstances because He sees things you don’t see. I can illustrate this by taking a quarter and showing you the side with heads on it. You can see that. Can you see the other side of the coin? You can’t, but God can. If you ask Him, He will show you the other side. He sees the things you don’t see. If you will listen to Him and do what He instructs you to do, you will see the situation change. This is very important. Once you receive instruction from the Lord, YOU MUST ACT ON IT. As you are praying for wisdom, also ask the Lord for understanding and insight into the things you are praying for.
FOURTH: PROVERBS 3:5-6 SAYS “TO TRUST IN THE LORD WITH ALL OF YOUR HEART AND LEAN NOT TO YOUR OWN UNDERSTANDING. IN ALL YOUR WAYS ACKNOWLEDGE HIM AND HE WILL DIRECT YOUR PATH.”
Once you have cast this care over on the Lord, you are going to have to trust Him completely to work it out, no matter how long it takes. You are going to have to trust Him with all of your heart, no matter what the circumstance looks like in the natural. If all hell is breaking out in the natural around you, keep your focus on Him. Once you have placed the circumstance(s) in the Lord’s hands, it no longer belongs to you.
Don’t lean on your own understanding by trying to figure out how God is going to work it out. Once you have cast the care over on Him, if belongs to Him now, and let Him work it out His way and in His time. He will work it out in such a way that you will have to give Him the glory for it. Remember that the circumstance(s) no longer belongs to you.
You acknowledge Him in all your ways by continuing to thank Him and praise Him for the answer. Praise precedes victory. This is illustrated in II Chronicles 20. Read this story in the Old Testament.
FIFTH: EPHESIANS 3:20 SAYS THAT HE IS ABLE TO EXCEEDINLY ABUNDANTLY ABOVE ALL THAT WE ASK OR THINK ACCORDING TO THE POWER THAT WORKS IN US.
Begin to thank the Lord and praise Him that He is going to do more than you expect. Begin to anticipate and expect “above and beyond all that you can ask or think.”
Don’t’ stop believing and stand for it. Praise God for fulfilling His promise.
As you put these keys into practice, your breakthrough will come.
Then you will be able to share what you have leaned, and help others understand how to experience a breakthrough in their lives too!
On your paper or on your computer:
• Write exactly the circumstance or situation.
• Write the Scriptures listed here to be used in your prayer out.
• Write the date of your prayer.
• If you are writing this out on paper, after praying sign the paper and the date you signed it. If you are doing this on your computer, put the date you prayed.
• Leave ample room to record how the Lord answered your prayer and handled the situation. You want to keep a record of each every time the Lord moves in your life. This will help your faith in Him and remind you that He is very capable of handling any situation.
Now we are ready for the final step, which is to pray. Here is a sample prayer you can use:
Father, in the Name of Jesus, I come before with this circumstance(s), (pray out the circumstance(s).
Your Word tells me in I Peter 5:7 to cast my care over on You because you care for me. So Father, I cast this circumstance(s) over on You. I place it completely in Your hands.
James 1:5-6 says that if I need wisdom I can come to you. It says that if I need Your wisdom, if I want to know what you want to do, I am to ask you and You will gladly tell me. You will not resent my asking, but I do ask in faith expecting to hear from You. Father, I expect to hear from You concerning this situation. I receive understanding and insight from You.
Proverbs 3:5-6 tells me to trust in the Lord with all my heart and not to lean to my own understanding. I am to acknowledge You in all my ways and You will direct my path. Father, I will trust You with all of my heart in this circumstance(s), and I will not try to figure out how You are going to work it out. I acknowledge You in this by thanking You and praising You for the answer.
According to Ephesians 3:20, which says You can do exceedingly abundantly above all that I could ask or think, according to the power that works in me, I thank You Father for doing exceedingly abundantly above all that I could ask or think according to the power that works in me.
Father, I thank You and praise You for the solution to my situation,
In Jesus Name, AMEN.
Now that you have prayed and released the situation to the Lord, the situation no longer belongs to you. You have placed it in His hands, so leave it there. Continue to thank Him and praise Him that you have received the answer and begin to “call things that be not as though they were.” (Romans 4:17
Place the paper you wrote this on somewhere where you can see it as a reminder that you have committed this to the Lord. If you placed it on your computer, every once in while go where you have filed it to remind yourself that it is in His hands. I have a folder named “CARETAKER ITEMS.” I visit it once in a while and when I do, I continue to thank the Lord that He is still working on the items, and then go about my business.
I have a little card taped on the monitor to my computer and this is what it says:
GOOD MORNING, THIS IS GOD! I WILL BE HANDLING ALL YOUR PROBLEMS TODAY. I WILL NOT NEED YOUR HELP, SO HAVE A GOOD DAY! I LOVE YOU!
Anytime you begin to think about the situation, always remind yourself that it is in His hands, and continue to thank Him and praise Him for taking care of it.
As you do this with each and every circumstance, you will find yourself free to pray for the needs of others without constantly praying for your own needs, and you will begin to see the Lord work in your circumstances.
The second major change in my prayer life was to seek the wisdom of God before I pray. God sees more to our circumstances than we do. When we seek His wisdom, we are getting insight into what is really going on, and can pray effectively because we will be praying the way He tells us to. Instead what I call “shotgunning” a lot of prayers, hoping to get an answer, I pray to get the answer and hit the target the first time.
This change came about as I listened to a series of teachings by Kenneth Copeland titled, “Wisdom, The Principle Thing.” Before I pray about something, the first thing I do is get before the Lord and ask Him to give me insight and understanding into the situation and how to pray. Even in my Bible study, I have learned to be quiet and listen to the Holy Spirit before I say anything. Once night, as we were praying with a brother about a situation at work, the Holy Spirit prompted me to share with him some insights I had learned from the Lord. It was not so much a prayer as the Lord telling him what was going on and how to handle it.
When I was going to Bible college some years back, I also had a full time job working with a construction company that did ceiling tiles and wall construction. There was one guy there that nobody liked because he as obnoxious, arrogant and always critical of others. After a while, I really did not want to be around him. I hate working with him. As I began to pray about this, I told the Lord I needed his wisdom as to what is going on. So the first thing the Lord did was to put us together at a job site for two weeks. I was not thrilled about this. Listening to his mouth every day was something I did not look forward to. About halfway through our time there, we were working and talking. Somehow, he said something and the lord prompted me to ask this question, “When you were growing up and going to school, did the other kids pick on you a lot.” He was a short man. He said “Yeah, every day.” When he said that, the Lord spoke to and said, “That is the reason he acts the way he does.” When I heard that, my attitude towards him changed immediately. He didn’t change, but I did. From that point on my attitude towards him was different. On my last day of work, before we left the jobsite, he came over to me and said, “You are the best worker we have ever had.” When he said that, it floored me because he never complemented anybody.
I hope this information will be a blessing to you and help you with the circumstances in your life. As you begin to put into practice what I have learned, your prayer life will be one of victory and your joy will be full of praise and glory to Him.
What this will do for you is to get your focus off of your circumstances and begin to praise the Lord for the answers. It will also free you up to pray for others and it will free the Lord up to answer your prayers.
I would highly recommend two books by Myles Munroe that have really had an impact on my prayer life. The first one is “The Purpose and Power of Praise” and the second one is “The Purpose and Power of Prayer.”
You will be blessed.