Tag Archives: answered prayers

Buy A Ticket

I used to live next door to one of the oldest members of our church. She was quite the character. One evening I was outside when she pulled into her driveway with a car full of groceries. After I helped her take them in, she told me a joke I’ll never forget. She said, “One day, the lottery was really large and a man wanted to win it. He prayed, ‘God, if you let me win the lottery, I’ll give 25% to the church.’ God replied back, ‘Buy a ticket!'” She then told me, “So many times we ask God for something, but don’t do anything about it.”

I think about that joke often in my prayer time. How many times have I asked God for something when I wasn’t willing to “buy a ticket”? God couldn’t help that man win the lottery if he wasn’t the owner of a ticket, and He can’t answer a lot of our prayers if we aren’t willing to put ourselves in position for Him to either. Remember, faith without works (action), is useless. He could have believed all he wanted that God would let him win the lottery, but without action on his part, it was useless.

In John 4:46-54, there is the story of a nobleman whose some was on his deathbed. He heard that Jesus was about 18 miles away, so he walked over a day to get to him. When he arrived, he begged Jesus to come to his home and heal his son. Jesus blew him off. He wouldn’t let up though. He pleaded, “Lord, please come now before my son dies” (NLT). Then in verse 50, it says, “Then Jesus told him, ‘Go back home. Your son will live!‘ And the man believed what Jesus said and started home.”

In order for his faith to activate his son’s healing, he had to start home. He had to act without seeing the result. It wasn’t until the next day, on his journey home, that his servants met him on the road, that he found out his son was healed. What if he had stayed and continued to beg Jesus? What if he had never started home? Often Jesus would say, “Go. Your faith has made you whole.” Their healing, their answer to prayer, was always activated by something they did. God has the power to answer your largest prayer, but it usually requires some kind of action on your part first.

What action do you need to take as an act of faith to activate God’s answer? Mark Batterson often writes, “Pray like it depends on God. Work like it depends on you.

Photo by Jad Limcaco on Unsplash

Throwback Thursday is a feature I’m using to help build some margin into my schedule to pursue other ventures. Each Thursday I’ll be bringing you a previously written devotional that still speaks encouragement to us from God’s Word.

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A Grateful Heart

As we were headed somewhere, my son, who was in the backseat, out of the blue asks, “Dada, who is your favorite leper?” I said, “You know, I haven’t given it that much thought. Who is yours?” He replied, “The one who praised God and went back to thank Jesus.” Then he asked, “Why didn’t the other nine who were healed go back and to thank Jesus for healing them?” I replied, “That’s the same question Jesus had, but we weren’t given the answer to.” He thought for a second then said, “We should always thank God when He answers prayers.”

He’s right, but many times, we forget. For many of us, what is urgent right now is what gets all of our energy and attention. Once it’s taken care of, we move to the next most urgent thing. For those 10 lepers, the most urgent thing was to be healed before the leprosy claimed their lives. Because it was considered “unclean” and contagious, the people who had it were cut off from family, friends and society. It was a lonely disease where everyone avoided you. So once these people got Jesus’ attention and their healing, they were ready to rejoin their families. Only one felt his most urgent need was to go back and give thanks.

Luke 17:15 says, “One of them, a foreigner from Samaria, when he discovered that he was completely healed, turned back to find Jesus, shouting out joyous praises and glorifying God” (TPT). The Bible records many healings Jesus performed, but this story records someone giving thanks for their answered prayer. Gratitude is a godly quality we could all get better at. When we look back at our life, we can see many times God has answered our prayers. Can we also see moments of gratitude like this leper’s? Take time today to thank God for all He’s done for you. You’ll find that the more you grateful you are, the more you’ll have to be grateful for.

Photo by Guillaume de Germain on Unsplash


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3 Reasons To Be Thankful

When is the last time that you stopped what you were doing and truly thanked God for all he’s done for you? In I Thessalonians 5:18, it tells us that no matter what your circumstances may be, be thankful and give thanks. Even if nothing seems to be going your way right now, there is reason to give thanks.

Having a thankful heart is a mindset that you have to create. We are not naturally thankful creatures. You need to practice being thankful with others and with God. When you truly make being thankful a part of your life, you will find that your attitude, your outlook and your perspective will change for the better.

Here are some reasons I have found to give thanks.

1. For salvation

Each of us should be eternally grateful for what Jesus did on the cross for us. There is nothing that we could ever do to earn our way to Heaven. It is only because God loved us so much that He sent His son to die for our sins that we have that ability. I don’t have to spend my life hoping and trying to be good enough one day. The price for my sin was paid for by Jesus.

I love how 2 Corinthians 9:15 says it: “Now thanks be to God for His gift, precious beyond telling, His indescribable, inexpressible, free gift!” We have a very good reason to be thankful today. You do not have to spend eternity separated from God if receive His son into your life.

2. For God’s faithfulness

I’m thankful every day that God’s faithfulness doesn’t rely on my own faithfulness. 2 Timothy says that even if we are faithless or are untrue to Him, He remains faithful and true because He cannot deny Himself. What God has promised He will do, He will do no matter what.

One of my favorite promises in scripture is found in Philippians 4:19. I remind myself of this scripture when things aren’t going my way. It says that God will supply all of my needs according to His riches. I often want Him to supply all of my wants, but He has promised to take care of my needs. I have air in my lungs, a place to sleep and food to eat. That is something to be thankful for.

3. For what He has done

How many times have we prayed and asked God for something and He’s done it? Too many to count I’m sure. I often thank Him for the big things when He does them, but what about the little things? Have we thanked Him for a good night’s sleep, help on a test, safe travels or for food to eat? We constantly petition God in prayer and rarely thank Him.

When He healed the 10 lepers in Luke 17, only one came back to thank Him. Jesus asked him where the other 9 were. How was it that only one came back for something as big as a life giving healing? I want to live my life like that one who came back and worshipped Him and thanked Him.

I know it’s hard to do sometimes. I’ve been at points in my life where it seemed I had nothing to be thankful for. The truth is that I had a lot to be thankful for, but I wasn’t looking for it. Wherever you are today, stop and give thanks to God. You will find that it will change you when you live with a grateful heart.


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Passionate Prayer

It’s Free Friday! Today you can choose to let go of the things that weigh you down and hold you back so you can embrace all that God has for you. To celebrate, I’m giving away a free copy of “The 21 Most Effective Prayers of the Bible”. Keep reading to find out how you can win it.

Someone recently asked me to pray for one of their friends. As I started to pray, I started to become more passionate in that prayer. The more passionate I got, the longer the prayer got. When I said, “Amen”, they said, “Thank you” and mentioned that they just meant a “little” prayer. I couldn’t do it though. If it’s worth praying about, it’s worth being passionate about.

I don’t know that the louder a prayer is, the more God will hear it. I believe the more passionate prayer is, the more God responds to it. I think of Hannah in the Bible in I Samuel 1, she was deeply troubled because she couldn’t have children. She was embarrassed and felt like a lesser person. While her husband went to offer sacrifices, she went into the temple to pray. Her prayer wasn’t loud, but it was passionate.

Verse 10 says, “And Hannah was in distress of soul, praying to The Lord and weeping bitterly.” When Eli the priest came in, he saw her mouth moving, but nothing coming out. Verse 13 says she was praying in her heart. He quite honestly thought she was drunk. When he confronted her, she assured him she wasn’t and that she was pouring out her soul. He then told her to go in peace because God was going to answer her petition.

It wasn’t on the words she was saying, it was in the emotion of her spirit that caught God’s attention. So often we worry so much about the words to our prayers, that we forget to worry about the passion in them. James 5:16 says, “The effectual, fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.” When I looked up the words “effectual” and “fervent” in the original Greek, the word used was energeo. That’s our root word for energetic.

God is more concerned with the energy in our prayers than in the words. He wants to see our passion instead of our memory. I’m afraid most of our prayers aren’t answered because we aren’t very energetic in them. We don’t put much emotion into them. Instead we say it half hearted just hoping He’ll hears us and maybe answer. James said an energetic prayer is dynamic in its working. It has tremendous power available. The words in our prayer are important, but God is listening to our heart too.

If your prayers aren’t being answered, I encourage you to think about the emotion and passion you’re putting into your prayers. Are they more of an after thought or are they passionate? Are concerned more about saying the right thing or conveying the right thing? The most effective prayers in the Bible came from deep within the heart, not the brain. The heart is the seat of our emotion. It’s where our passion comes from. Try praying from there and watch God work.

If you’d like to win, “The 21 Most Effective Prayers in the Bible”, go to my Facebook page and “like” it or one of my statuses today. I will choose one person randomly tomorrow (9/20/14) who does either of those things. You can access my Facebook page here.


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Testimony Time

In our small group, we are reading through “Good to Great in God’s Eyes” by Chip Ingram. Last night we were discussing the chapter “Pray Great Prayers”. As we were talking about keeping a prayer journal, my wife mentioned that because of the digital age, that’s something our kids are missing out on. The vast majority aren’t keeping journals. Because they aren’t, they can’t flip through pages to see where they thought the world was going to come to an end and then it didn’t. They don’t have a record of the ways that God has moved in their life.

In the chapter we discussed, Chip mentioned that he keeps a prayer journal where he writes down things that are too big for him to handle. By writing them down, he is transferring them over to God. He said he also leaves a little space under each one so that when it gets answered, he can put a note in there. When his faith needs a boost, he goes back through that journal to remind himself of the times when he was faced with the impossible and then he reads the notes below it where God answered. It helps him when he faces other impossible situations.

As we discussed that, we began to talk about how we remember years ago when churches would have testimony time. It’s something that’s missing from our modern church. I believe it’s something that is still necessary. Scripture says that we overcome by the blood of the Lamb and the word of our testimony. We need to hear the stories of what God is doing in people’s lives. We need to see His hand at work around us. It reminds us that He’s still listening and that whatever we are facing, isn’t too big for God.

We then went around the room and shared stories of a God answering prayers, big and small. Each person in our group could point to a time when God answered. That built my faith up. God knows your need and He hears your prayers. You don’t have to use your prayers to try to persuade God to move in your favor. You simply need to make your requests known to Him. Call out the promises He has made in His Word. Remind Him of what He’s done for others. Your heartfelt prayers touch the heart of God. Your need is not too big and it’s not too small. He’s not so concerned with everything else in the world that He doesn’t have time for you or your needs.

If you need your faith built today, ask someone what God has done for them. Ask them what prayers He has answered. If He’s answered something, then tell others. They need to hear what He has done for you. Your testimony will help them be an overcomer in their situation. If you don’t know who to tell, then use the comments below to share what God has done for you. People will read it and be blessed. God still moves today. God still answers prayers. Tell Him what you need, He’s listening right now.


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