Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen. (Ephesians 3:20-21)
I often hear church leaders talking about things they want for their church. It’s everything from the latest technical gizmo to a bigger, better building to more faithful members when it comes to giving and serving. Ben Stein once said, “The first step to getting the things you want out of life is simple: “Decide what you really want.” Bob Burg offers this: “It’s good to have goals, but know this: no matter how big a goal you have…God…has a bigger and better goal for you.” Solomon adds this twist to Bob’s point… “Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.” (Proverbs 19:21)
Here is my take on getting things you want. Solomon offers this, “What the righteous desire will be granted.” (Proverbs 10:24) So the key to achieving goals is righteous living in other words, doing things God’s way. James 4:2-3 backs that up: “You do not have, because you do not ask God. When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives…” So if you want to get things you want start by praying sincerely with a God-pleasing attitude. And what does a God-pleasing attitude look like? It starts by considering what God receives (how it brings Him glory) instead of what we are going to get out of it.
Two questions to be answered are: What can we do to become effective and powerful prayer warriors? Where do we start in this quest to live a righteous life that pleases God? 1 Peter 1:13 gives us four simple steps that leads to righteous living which leads to productive prayer lives which leads to getting what we really need to advance the kingdom of God. I’ll summarize what it says for you:
- Prepare your minds for action _ that’s desire
- Set your hope fully on God’s grace _ that’s faith
- Live self-controlled lives _ that’s faithfulness
- Be redeemed by the blood of Jesus _ what makes it possible
Jesus said, “Ask and you will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.” (Matthew 7:7) Prayer is speaking to God, that’s the “ask” part. Are you bold enough to ask God? Prayer is also listening to God, that’s the “seek“ part. Are you wise enough to listen to God? Prayer is especially responding to God, that’s the “knock“ part. Are you courageous enough to respond to God’s call? If you are bold, wise, and courageous enough then look out world here comes the church of the Lord Jesus Christ equipped and ready to serve both God and people _ ready to make a difference that has eternal significance.