Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Phil. 4:6–7
In the prayer workshops I have taught, we have always been blessed at how God responds to our prayers. There was a time when I prayed, but didn’t see the results I am now seeing. What made the difference? Believe me, there is indeed a difference. There was one key element missing from my prayers. Some events took place in my life that led me to the missing ingredient.
While in Bible college, I made a decision that I would seek the face of God. My plan was to spend as much time as I could with God in prayer and in His Word. The Scriptures say that if we seek Him, we will find Him (Isaiah 45:19), and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him (Hebrews 11:6).
From the stories in the Bible, I had determined that if anyone spent time with God, he or she would be transformed. I somehow thought that if I spent enough time, I would be saturated with God’s glory, presence, and grace and be transformed to the point where I would easily know His voice or will. I was excited at the prospect of such closeness to God. I began my quest.
Strangely enough, instead of feeling marvelous or feeling like God’s presence flooded my life, I felt terrible.
I was going through spiritual battles and certainly didn’t feel holy, spiritual, or bathed in God’s presence. What was wrong? I was really confused about it all.
I finished another day of classes and then dropped in on a friend. On her coffee table was a small booklet by a pastor’s wife (I don’t remember the title). I reached down, picked it up, and started to read a random page that basically told the following story:
As a pastor’s wife, the author had been going through one of the most trying times of her life. She felt miserable, and it seemed that nothing she did helped. Finally she realized that she had been praying and praying, but in a random manner. She prayed, “I turn this over to You, Lord. Take care of this.”
She discovered that the one thing she hadn’t tried was to find specific Scriptures to stand on and place her confidence in.
She became specific in her prayers, relying on specific promises, and she prayed to the Father in Jesus’s name. Finally, she thanked God for what He was doing. She did it and everything changed.
Was This It?
There it was! My answer was in that little booklet. I went home, sat on the floor in front of the coffee table with a pencil and a piece of paper, and got started. I made a detailed list of requests. I wrote down every need I could think of. When you do this, you can write down physical, emotional, and every other kind of need. I had four pages of stuff. I figured that since this was going to work, I might as well cover everything I knew or knew about.
A Nugget of Gold
When I finished praying, I was amazed! Not only did I feel peace inside of my heart, but to my utter joy, I felt total peace in my mind. I had discovered a nugget of gold on that afternoon. I was rewarded for seeking God, all right. I had received a treasure that would change my life forever.
On another occasion I heard a Bible teacher on the radio teach about prayer. He had said to make a list. The precept was that to write it down was to remember. Then he said to go to the Father in Jesus’s name, take authority over the enemy, make one’s requests known to God, and thank Him for the answers.
I kept my list with me, thanking God over each request in my devotional time. When I felt troubled, I remembered my prayer list and thanked God for what He was doing. Answers began.
It’s funny how we either forget what we prayed about or we forget to pray at all about some things. Maybe we are lazy, preoccupied, or just plain discouraged. Or maybe we never knew God would answer our prayers in the here and now. Do a search in the Bible. See how many places you can find where someone prayed and God answered.
Writing requests in a journal helps us remember precisely what we have prayed for. This helps us to walk in faith (which pleases God). Thanksgiving is not only obedience to Philippians 4:6, but it also demonstrates faith toward God.
In the Workshop
How Specific Can I Get?
Paul told us in Philippians 4:6-7 to get specific. Also, 1 Peter 5:7 tells us to cast our cares on the Lord. These are commands, and they bring God’s peace!
What Is MY Part?
- Refuse to worry about anything. In fact, confess worry, because it is sin. Did you know that? If we are really trusting in a loving, caring God and have given Him our all, why should we worry?
- Pray in detail about everything. This will bring great peace to your heart and mind. “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus” (Phil. 4:6–7).
- Put Philippians 4:6-7 into practice. It works. You can pray this way: “Father, speak to so-and-so, and move on them by Your Spirit. And Lord, please, if it be Your will, turn such-and-such situation around in Jesus’ name.” Do the Prayer Workshop (see page 5).
- Trust in God, His integrity, the integrity of His Word, and His promises. Do not trust in yourself. Thank God and praise Him for what He is doing according to His will.
What Is GOD’S Part?
He will fulfill His promises. When you write your specific requests down, apply specific Scriptures to base your faith upon, and thank Him, His promise of peace begins to be fulfilled right away.
NEED GOD IN YOUR PERSONALITY?
At the Workbench
- You can experience the peace of God.
- Think about it: If you haven’t prayed in detail, you need to do that right away. Why deprive yourself of the peace you so desperately need?
- Find specific Scriptures to rest your faith upon, and you will find specific answers, much to your delight!
What’s the Point?
- If God knows my thoughts, why should I pray?
- Why should I pray specifically?
- What does it mean to pray scripturally?
- Does God hear my prayers?
- How do I know He hears ME?
- What will happen if I pray specifically and scripturally?