Week Two: Be SPECIFIC
Don’t worry about anything; Instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done (Philippians 4:6 NLT).
Back in high school, I enrolled in a Martial Arts class. Our training included hand to hand free-sparring. I was in a class with all guys and easily outmatched. Yikes! I remember the instructor coaching me to “use my opponent’s size and strength against him.” In other words, I was to channel the attacker’s force into a powerful counter-attack. To my surprise, this strategy worked!
Sometimes when I am assaulted by fear or worry, it’s easy to feel outmatched. But I’ve learned a little secret. If I redirect the powerful forces of fear and worry into a fervent, SPECIFIC prayer, it’s like a one-two punch into the solar plexus of the enemy. As Paul advised in his letter to the Philippians, “Don’t worry….instead, pray. Tell God what you need…” (Phil. 4:6). One of my prayer heroes, Charles Spurgeon, said it this way: “Turn your cares into prayers!” One thing’s for sure: The devil hates our prayer.
So glad you joined us for WEEK TWO of our 40-DAY CHALLENGE. Last week, you were to practice Step One of the Six-Step Prayer Method: Be ALERT. This week our focus is on Step Two: Be SPECIFIC. If you’re just jumping on board, click here.
A friend recently referred to me as her “prayer coach.” Over our six weeks together, I hope to “coach” you to follow hard after Christ, to read His Word daily, to persevere in prayer. I want you to believe that your prayers DO make a difference in your personal world and in God’s larger world. Let’s be ALERT and SPECIFIC this week and watch God work, thanking Him for all He has done. Then, as Paul promised in Philippians 4:7, you’ll experience “God’s peace” which will “guard your hearts and mind as you live in Christ Jesus.”
In chapters 3 and 4, you’ll learn about my list method. THE LIST and the CHUBBY BOOK will help you to be ALERT and SPECIFIC when you pray. How specific? Specific enough so you’ll recognize the answer when it comes!
It’s hard NOT to worry when you love people. Right? Trouble knocks at our door daily. Think for a minute. What is your “big ask?” That need which is foremost in your mind and heavy on your heart? I encourage you to shape your burden right now into a specific prayer.
Lord, I pray for ___________. I want your will in this situation as revealed in your word. Specifically I pray for _________. I stand on your promise to do “above all I could hope for or imagine” (Ephesians 3:20).
Meditate on and memorize: Morning by morning I order my requests before you, and eagerly watch for the answers. (Psalm 5:3).
Assignment: Read Chapters 3 and 4: Sometimes He Whispers, Sometimes He Roars: Learning to Hear the Voice of God.
Answer the Personal Reflection Questions on page 190.
Action Step #1: Schedule some quiet time alone with God. Using your Journal, make your “worry list.” Being specific keeps you from becoming vague and lazy in your prayers.
Action Step #2: Widen the circle of your prayer concerns. Ask God to “break your heart for the things that break His.” Then watch as God brings people, or even nations to your mind to add to your list. Keep alert while searching the internet or watching the news. Is God calling you to pray?
Action Step #3: Find creative ways to use your minutes for prayer. I keep my Chubby Book with me when I fold clothes, making a simple chore a time to seek God for those I love. I reflect or memorize my “watchword” of Scripture for the day. Explore ways to “pray without ceasing this week.”
Training Tip: I like to take my Chubby Book with me when I jog. My neighborhood has some steep hills. While going uphill, I pray for our friends suffering in hard places like SYRIA In some small way, this allows me to feel a solidarity with their suffering. Why not pray during your own exercise time? Turn your walk into a “prayer walk.”
PRAYER ALERT: My heart breaks for my Christian brothers and sisters in Syria. Does yours? Some friends have organized a day of Prayer and Fasting for SYRIA on Sunday, September 15th. Hope you’ll join me in being ALERT and SPECIFIC as we cry out to God for a mighty outpouring of His power and protection in SYRIA.
Keep praying, especially for GOD’S PEACE!