You know the score; someone says something and another gets upset, a deal you've been waiting for goes to a competitor, staff don't do as they're told or there's a problem with the building, sometimes everything seems to be against you for no apparent reason.
In a nutshell, it's not supposed to be this way and, wait for it!!! we're 100% responsible to effect a change. If we wait for God to act, we'll be waiting a long time!
You might say, well stuff happens and there's nothing we can do about it - wrong! I'm going to start off by saying, "if you do what you've always done, you'll get what you've always got!"
Firstly, lets quickly look at Jairus (Matthew 9:18). He was a senior synagogue official and his daughter was dying. He had to fight through the crowds to get to speak to Jesus and make enough room for him to kneel before Jesus. And he said "My daughter has just died, but you can bring her back to life if you just come and lay you hand on her". So Jesus and his disciples got up and went with him.
Jarius was completely purposeful. He was senior in the community and he had to make the effort, to fight through the crowds. No matter what, he was going to make his petition to Jesus. But as you read, there was no discussion, Jesus simply got up, straightaway and went with him.
As you can see, God knows and will act if we do. It is dependent on what we say and do. Sitting there "thinking" about prayer cannot manifest a change. We must be purposeful and vocal.
There is another element to this though. Since becoming a Christian I have listened to what other people say about prayer and have always thought that there was something missing, something was not quite right. All the focus was on God and what we wanted him to do, takeaway, make better or change.
But we're told that God is love and what Jesus did on the cross for us was enough! But I couldn't get this sense of wrong thinking out of my mind, so I started to look in the only place with total up, the Bible.
So, here's my take on this. We must acknowledge God for everything he is and turning to him, using the following acronym could be quite helpful.
Before we even think about approaching God, we must forgive! If we can'r forgive others, how can we expect God to forgive us. If anyone has got a grievance with us, we have to sort it out first. We can't go before God knowingly with a problem we're not prepared to sort out (Matthew 18:21-35)
God wants us to bring everything to him as an act of submission. Remember - "Be still and know that I am God" (Ps 46:10). As God, we must worship and adore our God as he is our Father, our creator. Praise, worship, adoration are all words that we, as business people don't feel particularly comfortable with, but in time you will understand the real meaning of these words.
We cannot go before God in sin. He is Holy and we cannot occupy that same "state", "room" or "area" as God. The two are so diametrically opposed that they can't exist together. But the supernaturalness of God means that if we repent (stop doing what is wrong and do a 180 degree about-face) and are genuinely sorry for our sins, God forgives them - "just as if I'd never done it - justified!
We must then thank him for what he has done in our lives, every little thing we take for granted, he must be thanked for as everything comes from him, yes everything, you're alive and reading this aren't you :)
Then we make our supplications - through our spoken prayers and written requests, our petitions, I suggest using a journal, (1 Timothy 2:1)
It is written in Romans 4:17 - That is what the Scriptures mean when God told him, “I have made you the father of many nations.” This happened because Abraham believed in the God who brings the dead back to life and who creates new things out of nothing.
We are told to let God know what we want. (He already knows what we need!) Our wants however must be lined up with his will. Wanting a Bentley is all well and good, however, does the Bentley line up with the will of God for your life. These are not riddles, they are specific instructions that we are to follow God’s will for our lives because he knows what is right for us and what will bring us the most joy and happiness. To learn the will of God for our lives is to understand the Word of God and the Word of God is the Bible.
Lest we forget, the bad stuff happens, not because God chooses to inflict pain in our lives, but because we live in a fallen world that is the domain of Satan and his cohorts.
We are called to engage in spiritual warfare, binding up the enemy so that we stop him from having an affect on and in our lives (Matthew 18:18)
There is the power of death and life in our words (Pv 18:21) ; we are to speak out that we're binding the works of the enemy against our given situation(s). (Matthew 16:19 - And I will give you the keys of the Kingdom of Heaven. Whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you permit on earth will be permitted in heaven.”)
It is all well and good us trying to hide our heads in the sand, but we can't go around believing the Bible for all the promises of God and then turn around and say that the devil is irrelevant or as some say doesn't even exist.
I've said it before, "good from God, bad is from Satan". But don't fret! As Christians we have been given power and authority over Satan, however, he keeps on telling lies and getting unsuspecting people to behave the way he wants them to, hence the bad things happen, from natural disasters to wars or to some kid behaving badly in the street!
Our prayer lives must reflect our authority. When we pray we must also protect the people and situations around us. We must be aware of the power we have and how that power can be used to change our businesses and our circumstances - as long as we are lined up with the will of God i.e. we understand the word of God, the Bible.
Christians are deliberately being misled into thinking that talk about the enemy or Satan is mumbo-jumbo, not real or shouldn't even be discussed as it is foolish!
Can you think of anything more foolish than blaming God when bad things happen when in reality it is Satan all along! I can imagine the enemy sitting there and laughing at our stupidity. And, yes, he's been doing it since the garden! The question is, are you going to let him keep on doing it in your life?
One thing you have to get clear, there are only two opposing forces, good and evil, that means God and Satan. Jesus won the victory over Satan on the cross and handed us the authority over Satan, but he didn't kill Satan. The Earth is still Satan's Kingdom and he's still lying to everyone who will listen!
So, we're either leaning towards what God desires for us or we're leaning towards what Satan wants us to do. There is no third party in this, i.e. you! You're freewill allows you to make the decision how you'll act, but you will always be leaning towards one or the other!
So when it comes to prayer we must be purposeful and as a suggestion, follow the acts approach. But I strongly suggest you read Ephesians 6:10-18 and put on the armor of God as it says when you come under attack not if you come under attack, which is why you need your armour.
To have a truly effective prayer life, living as God intended, means you must also be prepared to give the enemy kicking and make sure you keep him out of your business and out of your life.
Over the centuries, we have been deceived by the enemy into thinking this is our “lot”. There’s nothing anyone can do about it so we might as well knuckle down and just get on with it!
I believe nothing could be further from the truth; Businesses have suffered, families have suffered and even economies have suffered because of the way the world has imposed on us the belief that our source is money, when in fact God is our source.
We came in to this world without it and cannot take it with us when we die, yet all throughout our lives we spend all our time worrying about it.
You have probably tried every marketing ploy, every angle and every approach, hired and fired countless members of staff, worked weekends, worked on holiday, sidelined your families at one time or another, all for what. To be subject to the economy, the way of the world and what it has to offer!
Can I suggest that now that you have done what you’ve always done and got what you’ve always got it’s time to do it God’s way. It will be strange to begin with, but you’re bright and intelligent and will learn this very quickly as long as you stick at it. It will change your life, no doubt about it, but don’t be dissuaded by someone telling you its nonsense.
Doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result is nonsense.
Know that you are blessed and that the heavens are cheering you on to “get” this. Once you do, your life will be…
(See Hebrews 11:1 - Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see.)
Have a great week :)