Circling God’s Promises
This past Sunday at LGC, we discussed one of the most common hindrances to an effective prayer life that ails a lot of Christians. And that is not knowing how to pray because we don’t understand God’s promises to us.
I’ll admit it. I’ve spent a lot of my life as a follower of Christ praying general, vague prayers along the lines of: “Lord, bless me. Bless my family. Bless my church, etc.” Not that there’s anything wrong with a prayer requesting God’s blessing. But like many of you, I have realized that often my prayers don’t go beyond that level. I’m not really asking for anything specific.
When Jesus came face to face with Bartimaeus, the blind beggar on the roadside just outside Jericho, He made no assumptions about what it was Bartimaeus wanted. In fact, He posed a question. A question that possibly caught others off-guard. But not Bartimaeus. Jesus asked him, “What do you want me to do for you?” (Mark 10:51; NLT). Why the question? Doesn’t Jesus know His need? Can’t He see it? Can’t He guess? But yet He asks. Without having to think for a moment, the beggar says, “Teacher, I want to see!” And so… Jesus heals him.
I believe Jesus poses the question so that Bartimaeus had to articulate his request specifically.
Many times, we don’t know how to pray because we don’t know what we can ask for. We don’t seem to question God’s power very often. We know He’s powerful. What we question is whether He wants to apply that power to our situation.
This past Sunday, I challenged our church family to write out a specific prayer request on a card we had made and then put it in a prominent spot where they would see it daily for the next 24 days. And each time we see the card during that time-frame, we are to pray specifically for that request. However, that wasn’t it.
The back of the card was blank. I also challenged them to ask God to lead them to a scriptural promise that was confirmed in Jesus (2 Cor. 1:20) so they could have a basis for believing.
For the next 24 days, I am praying for our church’s meeting location. Specifically, I am praying for a specific building where we can meet that will be a more permanent home aligning with our God-given vision for the church. (Our current meeting spot has an expiration date on it. Details to come.) The promise on which I am basing my prayer: “[Jesus] is the one who has the key of David. He opens doors, and no one can shut them; He shuts doors, and no one can open them. I know all the things you do, and I have opened a door for you that no one can shut” (Revelation 3:7,8; NLT).
What scriptural promise are you circling as you pray your specific prayer?