"Do not fret or have any anxiety about anything, but in every circumstance and in everything, by prayer and petition (definite requests), with thanksgiving, continue to make your wants known to God. And God's peace shall be yours…"
- Philippians 4:6-7 AMP
This past Christmas, my husband, Joe, and I were in the process of decorating our home, when we decided that we wanted to purchase some evergreen garland for our dining room. We began shopping at numerous department stores and self-improvement stores in our area. Everywhere we went, we found some sort of holiday garland, but either the appearance or the price didn't appeal to us. As we walked out of the third or fourth store, I sensed the Lord saying to my heart, "Tell Me exactly what kind of garland you'd like most. Be as specific as you can." Immediately, I silently began to pray. "Lord, I would like some lifelike evergreen garland with white lights, pine cones, holly leaves, and red berries. Oh, and by the way, Lord, I'd like to get it at half price." The very next store my husband and I entered, we found the prettiest illuminated garland that we had ever seen. It not only had the exact lights, pine cones, holly leaves, and berries that I had described, but it also had a beautiful snow effect that I hadn't even thought of asking for. It was breathtaking. And it was half price. "Thank You, Lord," was all I could whisper at the time. I was so overwhelmed with how the God of the universe took an interest in such a small desire of my heart. And this wasn't the first time, either. Since I made a quality decision more than twenty years ago to get to know the Lord in a deeply personal way, I have discovered time and time again that He longs to be involved in the most intimate details of our lives.
It's true that we can ask God on a regular basis for the desires of our hearts - in a general sort of way. But I have found that when we make the effort to get specific with our prayer requests, the Lord is often willing to go to great lengths to reveal Himself to us through the answers He sends our way. Many times, when I am praying about something, I hear the same phrase that Jesus speaks often in the Gospels - "What do you want Me to do for you?" (Luke 18:41; Matthew 20:32; Mark 10:36; Mark 10:51) I know it's the Lord's way of saying, "Get specific with your requests." I believe that sometimes we can get lazy in our prayer life, especially when we've prayed for something over and over again. And I believe that it can grieve the heart of God. What would happen if we became more passionate in our praying? For one thing, we wouldn't have to settle for less than God's best. My Christmas garland is the perfect example. If I hadn't taken the time to describe to the Lord exactly what I wanted, I would have eventually just settled on some garland that would have made my house look nice and festive - but God wouldn't have used it to reveal Himself to me in a fresh, new way. And I would have missed out on that special moment of feeling wrapped in His matchless love.
The Bible says: "Do not fret or have any anxiety about anything, but in every circumstance and in everything, by prayer and petition (definite requests), with thanksgiving, continue to make your wants known to God." (Philippians 4:6 AMP) Don't miss the "definite requests" part of this verse. It shows that the Lord isn't afraid of you getting very specific with your requests. In fact, He welcomes it. Even though He knows your heart, He invites you to talk your needs and desires over with Him. He knows that it will draw you closer to Him, and it will open the door for Him to get more involved in every aspect of your life. David, the shepherd-king wrote: "The Lord directs the steps of the godly. He delights in every detail of their lives." (Psalm 37:23 NLT) Are you ready to go deeper with God, and to invite Him into every area of your life?
Prayer: Lord, forgive me for the times that I have been too casual with my prayers. Guard me from a lazy, half-hearted attitude when I am presenting my requests to You. Help me to take my conversation and communication with You more seriously. But remind me that nothing that concerns me is too trivial or insignificant for me to pray about. Thank You that as I put these principles into practice, I will have a more intimate, personal, and vibrant relationship with You!
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