Lifestyle advisors assure us we can achieve fantastic goals if we know what we have in mind.
Here’s the trick: We must have a plan.
Willy-nilly won’t do it. We won’t achieve our dream if it remains vague and nebulous. If we say, “Tomorrow, that’s when I’ll start,” we’ll always be stuck in today, and our goal will be pushed further and further away. Then, one day, we’ll wake up and realize we’ve run out of time.
To keep our plan from becoming overwhelming, we must set up benchmarks, little steps we can mark off, saying, “Done!”
This also works when we struggle with unanswered prayers. We pour out our heart, and the windows of heaven are closed to our needs. How can we get God to respond?
Matthew 6:6 gives us 4 Benchmarks to a Good Prayer:
“But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.”
Benchmark No. 1: Set up a specific place for prayer, one where you will not be distracted. A closet, the basement, a rarely used powder room.
Benchmark No. 2: Close yourself away. Shut the door. Get rid of distractions. Let nothing in to disturb your concentration, even your phone.
Benchmark No. 3: Open your heart and emotions to God. Be honest and real. He loves you as you are and understands you better than you do.
Benchmark No. 4: What happens in your prayer place stays in your prayer place. It’s between you and God. The King James version says, “Thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.”
Now, you have a plan. As you reach each benchmark, say to yourself, “Done!”
1. Prayer place: selected!
2. Distractions: gone!
3. Connection with God: completed!
4. Lips: sealed!
Your answer is on the way! God will reward your time in prayer with him!
Prayer is not an unknowable mystery. It’s a secure connection with our almighty God.
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