I have a prayer accountability partner whom I have learned much from over the years. I love when my friend spends time praying over me. In his praying, he spends much time repeating Scripture. It is a powerful way to pray. In a small book he wrote, “22 Life Lessons on Prayer,” he asks the question, “Do I regularly express faith in my prayers using Scripture to do so?” (page 35). Thank you, Tim, for being my prayer buddy.
In a recent conversation with our Fellowship International Director, Dave Marttunen, he mentioned a book he recently read about prayer, which asks the reader to petition for God-sized specific prayers. The book is, What Are You Trusting God For? by Gregg Hinzelman. I’ll let Dave tell you more about the book:
“I recently read one of those books that gave me a slap, but with ‘tons’ of encouragement. It is an easy read and possesses many insights from the author’s life. The title, “What Are You Trusting God For?” is as evocative as the author’s life stories. Author, Gregg Hinzelman, lives what he writes – and you meet him as a prayer warrior.
“Without referencing James’ exhortation…’you have not because you ask not’….the writer appeals to the reader to start asking God-sized specific prayers.
“His insight into why we don’t pray zeroed in on the primary issue: we really do not want God to control our lives. Yet, we know this: until we surrender (as often as needed until He is where He deserves and desires to be for our good and His glory), we struggle with less. It is true, isn’t it? Our individual and collective experience shouts out that is true! We must surrender our pseudo sense of control to God. We can easily give lip service to the truth that we know God is always in control but, in this case, surrender means so much more than acquiescing to His authority. Surrender means that we choose God to be in charge willingly, purposefully, and with heartfelt submission. I surrender to His leadership and to His values.
“All this from Gregg’s third chapter. We need a reminder like this from time to time. Prayer is the means to everything God wants done and wants us to do.
“Hinzelman reminds us, “The more we give God control in our lives, the more useable we become…”
“One of the saddest commentaries on how poor surrender leads to big disappointment, dissatisfaction, and frustration is located in the life of Samson. He was like a superhero with remarkable strength. The biblical record demonstrates how much he did, and how little self-discipline he developed. The summary lines, that he avenged more through his death than in his life, should disturb us. Samson had God’s presence and power, but lacked God’s control. I think that war is one many, if not all of us, fight – if not frequently, at least from time to time. Surrender remains hard until we value His power at work in us more than our power at work for Him. We believe and practice the Gospel – apart from me you can do nothing.
“Let Hinzelman’s words coach you on to some practical steps.
- Keep a prayer journal – Use a numbered list and pray for these on rotation: 1s on one day, 2s on the next day…some things are E for every day. It makes the list manageable, and he advises that when a request is answered, write “thanks” and add another request in the next list.
- Pray specific prayers.
- Find a prayer partner (prayer for each other, pray together now and then).
- Be audience-specific (pray for your neighbours by walking through the neighbourhood; for those in a prayer group, pray for what they need and ask).
- Commit to corporate prayer – join with others to pray.
- Ask God to give you a great vision of what to trust Him for.
- Become a prayer mobilizer.
“I hope I have wetted your appetite to choose a book on prayer and read it. If you only read one this year, make it this one. In my opinion, it is excellent. As I read it, I felt helped to consider and advance my prayer life by taking some steps to improve it.”