"How do you get God to provide for you like that?" people have asked when I share some of the surprising ways God has supplied funds and contacts at just the right times.
"Uhm- He just decided to give it."
But that answer doesn't really help, and it doesn't give credit where it's due. I'll do better now.
You know of people who have prayed and received what they prayed for, but you also know of those who prayed hard, and didn't get the provision desired. So you suspect there is a catch, a secret. If you could just learn that secret code or magic word, then you'd walk into Heaven's vault as you please.
Here are five key thoughts I've found helpful.
1. It's almost a given, but before you'll receive specific gifts from God, you must humbly admit your need of God and His intervention. Our very breathe comes from Him!
Access to Him in prayer is limited to those who come by faith in the saving work of Jesus Christ. I'm sure God answers some other prayers because of His great mercy, but the promises of answered prayer in the Bible are for those who come in the name of Jesus. That is, you've got to belong to Him.
2. God desires intimacy with us. Yet we must draw nearer on His terms: free of sin, and as sincerely as a child. Feel free to tell Him everything, and know your confidences are utterly safe with Him.
3. Want what He wants - fall in love with Him! This is often referred to as knowing and doing God's will, but that comes quite easily when we focus our devotion and admiration on Him.
4. Listen when He whispers to your spirit/conscience. It's not spooky. His voice is quiet, and can be both firm and comforting. When it is God speaking it will not be at cross-purposes with anything in the Bible, and it will be sensible. In fact, most often I find God speaking to me in, and while I am reading Bible passages.
In this intimate dialogue God tells us what is really important to Him, and we get longings to do things that line up with those values. So tell Him about your desires, and ask for things you need to carry them out.
5. If you leave it at that, you've had a lovely fantasy. (I know, I've made that mistake!) But if you behave as if He's going to give it - that is, get ready - God will see to it that the resources you need to continue are there.
Others will watch and think you have a secret code, a magic password to get good gifts from God. It is all in that wonderful give- and-get friendship you have with Him. You and God are on the same page.
Ruth Marlene Friesen makes friends wherever she goes!
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