Welcome to Positive Life Principles with Karol Ladd. I’m so glad you have joined me here for a healthy dose of encouragement and wisdom. During the month of January, I’ve asked my friend Candace Gray to be my guest blogger and share her insights on starting the new year in a positive and productive way. Enjoy and be strengthened!
– Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.
Do you have a strategic approach to your prayers? Being strategic is about being consistent and intentional. Making progress on meaningful goals can be a fight, so you need a battle strategy for the year. Here are some things to consider: how & when will you pray? What and who will you pray for? What are your go-to Scriptures that encourage you and remind you of truth? Who are the people who will encourage you, pray with you and challenge you? Finally, does your prayer strategy include bold requests?
There are many benefits and specific promises tied to prayer. James 5:16 tells us that the prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective. Here are some suggestions for being strategic in prayer:
- Ask, Seek, Knock continuously. Matthew 7:7-10. This passage is an encouragement to be persistent and consistent in prayer and you will be rewarded with a response. “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. (7:7)” Furthermore, the passage explains the heart of God and His willingness to respond to His children. “Which of you, if your son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for fish, will give Him a snake? If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask Him. (7:9-10)”
- Be bold. In Matthew 14:29, Peter asked Jesus to allow him to walk on water. Jesus’s response to him was, “Come.” He allowed Peter to walk on water just because Peter was bold enough to ask. Not one to waste an opportunity, Jesus used the experience to show His power and increase Peter’s faith.
- Ask with confidence. 1 John 5:14-15 says, “This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us—whatever we ask—we know that we have what we asked of Him.” Don’t over-analyze your prayers and hold back in what you ask of God. If you pray for something that is not in alignment with God’s will, know that He is good and He will sort it out. He does not punish you for asking. Instead, He teaches you so that you grow in understanding His will. Therefore, present the desires of your heart to God and let Him guide you in His will. If I pray for something that’s not good for me and is not born out of the right motives, God, in His kindness, will help me to come to that realization. In His mercy, He will not give me something that He knows will be harmful to me.
In the spirit of confidence in God and pursuing a focused, purposeful and bold new year, pray and seek:
- God’s vision for you for this year;
- Ability to do more than you think is possible this year;
- Wisdom, creativity and practical ideas for accomplishing your goals this year.
About Candace: Candace Gray is a seasoned leader with a track record of living a life of purpose and helping others to do the same. She is a Senior Director for Buckner Children and Family Services and a longtime member of Concord Church in Dallas.
If you’d like to follow her full 21-day devotional series, go to www.candacegray.com