Tag Archives: prayer

Stop And Look

Have you ever been sitting at a red light, or in traffic, and looked over and thought, “When did they build that?” It happens to me all the time. I take the same route to work each day, but sometimes the traffic patterns change. I’ll look over and see a building or something else and wonder how I missed it before. I’d driven by it a 100 times before, but somehow I’d never seen it. Was I too tired every other time? No. The difference is that this time I stopped and then looked around.

It makes me wonder how much of who God is, and what He says, that we miss because our prayers just us talking. I wonder how much He’s trying to show us, but our lives are too busy. He created us to be industrious. That’s a great trait that He put in us, but He also knew that it would mean we need to be reminded to stop and breathe every once in a while or we’d miss Him. We have a tendency to make everything so much about us, that we lose sight of our creator.

In Psalm 46:10 God said, “Be still, and know that I am God!” (NLT) When we learn to be still in His presence, in prayer and in life, we begin to notice things about Him that we’ve never seen. Society has taught us that growth and advancement come from being busy, but God teaches us that they come from being still. Today, make time to stop and be still so you can see things you’ve never seen. God is waiting and wanting to reveal Himself to you. Are you willing to slow down and notice?

Photo by Greg Rakozy on Unsplash

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The Power Of Agreement

Recently in our life group we were discussing prayer, when one of our pastors spoke up. He said, “Agreement is the seat of power when it comes to prayer. There is power when we agree with each other in prayer, and even more so when we agree with God.” I’ve found that if you have a body of believers around you, it’s fairly easy to find someone to agree with you in prayer regarding something. I’m called fairly often with a request to pray for something. It’s my honor to agree with someone in prayer. So much so, that I stop what I’m doing and we pray right then.

The harder agreement to be in is the one with God’s will. I don’t always know that, so I end up praying my will and hope it aligns with His. I’ve learned to pray like Jesus did in the Garden of Gethsemane where I let God know my request, but then say, “Not my will, but yours be done.” That’s a hard prayer to pray if we’re honest, especially when we are praying over a loved one who is fighting for life. Praying for God’s will isn’t about trying to change the will of God, but rather praying for me to accept what God wants to do and to be in agreement with it.

Something I’ve done in my prayer life to help me pray the will of God, is to give him a blank page. I pray, “God, whatever it is that you want to write into my life according to your will, I give you permission. Do what you want, when you want. You know the things I’m praying for. Help me to know the things you want to do in my life and through me. I make myself available to your will.” Be careful praying this prayer. If you mean it, this will unlock the power of agreement with God in your life and things will happen.

In Matthew 18:19, Jesus said, “Again I say to you, that if two believers on earth agree [that is, are of one mind, in harmony] about anything that they ask [within the will of God], it will be done for them by My Father in heaven” (AMP). Because agreement is the seat of power in prayer, make sure you’re bringing someone else along to pray with you on the things that matter most to you. Beyond that, leave room in your prayers for God’s will to take place in your life. When our will conforms to His, it’s a powerful thing.

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Don’t Stop Knocking

Today marks 40 day’s until Easter. For many, it’s a time of fasting and prayer. I believe both of these should be a part of every believer’s life. Some churches encourage their members to do it these 40 days, and others do it the first month or so of the year. I’d like to encourage you to take the next 40 days to pray concentrated prayers over something you want God to do for you. You could be seeking God’s will for your life, an open door, healing, relationships or anything, but take a few minutes each day to petition Him for it.

Several years ago I read the book “The Circle Maker” by Mark Batterson. In it, he talks of drawing a circle on the floor and praying inside it, or walking a circle around what you’re asking God for as you pray. It’s simply saying, “God, I’m circling this because it’s important to me, and I’m asking you to move on my behalf.” I believe God answers prayers, especially the ones we keep asking Him for.

In Luke 11:5-13, Jesus told the parable of a man who had someone show up to his house at midnight. He didn’t have enough food to feed them, so he knocked on his neighbor’s door. The neighbor told him to come back in the morning because they were in bed. The Man kept knocking because it was important. The neighbor didn’t get up because they were friends. He got up and gave him food because he wouldn’t stop knocking.

What’s in your heart? What is it that you want God to do? Psalm 37:4 says, “Seek your happiness in the Lord, and he will give you your heart’s desire” (GNT). Spend these next 40 days finding your happiness in the Lord instead of in other places, and ask Him daily for what you want most. Remember that we can approach God’s throne with boldness, bringing our heart’s desire to His attention. Don’t stop knocking until He answers or your desires are changed to be in line with His.

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Faith To Believe

Several years ago, we were taking a team on a mission trip. It was going to cost each person around $1,300 to go. We decided to do a couple of fundraisers to help bring the cost down. Since we live in Texas, we decided to sell BBQ plates. After everyone had picked up their plates, we still had several whole briskets left over. I asked the pastor if we could sell it after church the next day. He agreed, so we wrapped it up and put them in the refrigerator.

The next morning, my wife and I went to cut the briskets up. We decided to cut them into chunks of several pounds each rather than to slice it all. As the counter filled up with all these chunks of wrapped meat, my wife looked at me and said, “I hope God honors your faith instead of mine!” I said, “Me too,” as we headed to the foyer to sell them. Within 10 minutes all the brisket was sold, and we raised more money off of it than all the plates combined.

I tell you that because faith is essential to every believer. We need faith to believe God exists, and that He’s forgiven us. Beyond that, we need faith for our prayers to be answered. We need to be able to see in our minds something that doesn’t exist in that moment when we pray if God is going to answer. Many of us are good at asking for what we need, but we’re not good at believing what we are asking for. To me, that’s a critical part of getting your prayers answered.

When Jesus healed people, He almost always told them that their answer depended on their faith. Matthew 9:29 is a typical response from Jesus when someone asked Him for something. It says, “Then Jesus touched their eyes and said, ‘Let it happen, then, just as you believe!’” (GNT) I believe that’s still His response today to whatever you’re praying for. As you pray, begin to see in your mind what you’re asking for, and tell yourself God will answer until you believe it. God answers our prayers according to our faith and belief.

To help you grow your faith, I’ve published a book called “A Devotional Guide to Stretching Your Faith”. You can get the pre-release now on Amazon by clicking here. I’ll officially launch it in the next couple of weeks, but wanted you to be the first to know about it. If you’d like to be on the launch team, email me at chris@devotionsbychris.com.

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Wrestling With God

When Jacob and Esau were born, the Bible says that Jacob was holding onto Esau’s heel. His mom then gave him the name Jacob which meant “heel” or “deceiver”. People have asked, “What’s in a name?” Well, Jacob lived up to his. He was a heel to his brother and got him to trade his birthright for some food. Later, he deceived his own father in order to steal his brother’s blessing.

He was so afraid his brother was going to kill him over that last deception that he fled to the country of his ancestors. There he met his wives and stayed for twenty years. God spoke to him to return to the land He had given Abraham. He knew he had wronged his brother and was still afraid of him. On the night before they met, he was alone. An angel appeared and began to wrestle with him. Jacob held onto him the way he hung onto his brother’s heel. Finally, the angel gave up and blessed him, changing his name to Israel.

In Genesis 32:28 says, “‘Your name will no longer be Jacob,’ the man told him. ‘From now on you will be called Israel, because you have fought with God and with men and have won’” (NLT). When his name changed, so did he. No longer was he the deceiver he had been. He was now a person that knew God and prayed to him often. He quit relying on his own wisdom and started trusting the God of his fathers.

Some of us wrestle with God trying to find out if He’s real. Some of us wrestle with Him in prayer over our loved ones. I love that it says, “He won.” If you’ve got something pressing in you, don’t let go of God until He answers. The more we wrestle with God, the more we are changed. God is not afraid to come to where you are. He wants to help you get to where you’re going and to become the person He’s called you to be. Don’t let go. Don’t give up in the struggle. Your blessing is waiting on the other side of the wrestling match.

Photo by Katerina Radvanska on Unsplash

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Exceedingly And Abundantly

What’s the biggest or greatest thing you can ask God for? Think about that for just a minute. Seriously. For some of you, it might be the healing of a terminal illness. Others might need a financial miracle. For Abraham, it was an heir to leave all his belongings to. He was getting old, and he was already thinking about end of life details. He told God that his reward for his faithfulness was useless without a child.

Asking for an heir to be able to pass down his estate to was the biggest thing he could think of, and he asked God for it. In Genesis 15:5 it says, “The Lord took him outside and said, ‘Look at the sky and try to count the stars; you will have as many descendants as that’” (GNT). All Abraham was asking for was one descendent, and God points to the countless stars and says, “That’s how many I’ll give you!”

No matter what you or I can think of or ask for, God can do exceedingly and abundantly more. Abraham thought that asking for one descendent was Impossible, and God blew his mind. I don’t know what your prayer is, but I want you to know that God is able. What seems impossible or too big in your mind is not even the beginning of what God can do. Every time you begin to doubt, look at the stars and remember that nothing is impossible for God.

Photo by Greg Rakozy on Unsplash

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2018 New Year’s Prayer

Each year, I write a prayer of blessing over the coming year’ that you can pray. As you read this, let it become your prayer for 2018.

Heavenly Father,

I want to pause and give you thanks for how you moved and worked in my life over the past year. I know that you did so many things in my life where I failed to recognize it as your hand working things out for my good. You are a good Father who has provided for me in the past, and i know you’ll continue to in the future. I give you permission to continue to work out your good and perfect plan in my life in the coming year.

For 2018, I’m asking that you would awaken dreams I’ve let go of. Bring them back to life so you can fulfill them this year. I pray that the seeds I’ve sown will bear much fruit in 2018. Show me where to scatter seeds, and teach me to water them with prayers from your Word. Rebuke the devourer in Jesus’ name. Keep him away from all that you’ve given me and placed in my hand, and multiply my crops.

Help me to grow closer to you in 2018. I want to walk with you daily so that I know you more. Help me to hear your voice more clearly, and give me the courage to do what you say. I want to be known an as a person who obeys you. Use me to accomplish your plan in this world, and help me to love others the way you want me to. I want my life to be a life that leads others to you rather than one that pushes them away.

Grant my prayers this year like never before. Help me to delight myself in you. I pray that your hand of favor and blessing would rest on my life so that I can be a blessing to others. Continue to heal the hurts and wounds in my life and make me whole. Watch over me and those that I love. Block any and all attacks from the enemy that would come against me and try to prevent what you want to do in my life this year. I love you, Lord, and thank you in advance for all you’re going to do this year.

In Jesus’ name I pray,

Amen.

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