Copyright (C) 1992/2003
By Phil Scovell
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Have you ever noticed the different responses you get from
people who dial the wrong telephone number? When they are told,
"No, I'm sorry. You've dialed the wrong number," some slam down
the phone, some cuss, some experience brain-lock; maintaining
connection and breathing heavily into the mouth piece, others
insist they dialed correctly, "So quit playing around and put
Shirley on the phone." Funnier yet is what happens next.
Usually they immediate redial your number again. When they have
been informed, for the second time, they have misdialed, they
then get good and mad! Most of us pray like that.
For years I prayed religiously for at least forty-five
minutes each day. I had my little list and prayed over each item
faithfully. If I was in a hurry, I could breeze through my list
in twenty minutes; but admittedly I did not feel quite as
spiritual afterward. I, like the dedicated phone dialer, was
doing everything I knew to do; yet not getting through. No
matter how long, how often, how faithful, or how sincere we may
be, if we dial/pray incorrectly; even if we get the correct
number of digits, we will still be unable to receive an answer.
About this time, many Christians stomp their foot and
confess: "I'm doing the best I can." That may certainly be true
but Father God is not obligated to answer prayers based on "your
best." He promises, however, to answer any and all our prayers
based upon His best - His Word..."If you abide in me, and my
Words abide in you, you shall ask what you will, and it shall be
done unto you;" (John 15:7-8). If we proclaim that such is
unfair, we are just as wrong as the person who dials the
incorrect phone number and then blames the person on the other
end. Stop complaining about always getting the wrong number and
learn how to "REACH OUT AND TOUCH" your Heavenly Father.
I JOHN 5:14-15
And this is the confidence that we have in Him, that,
if we ask any thing according to His will, He hears us:
And if we know that He hear us, whatsoever we ask, we
know that we have the petitions that we desired of him.
Most interpret this to mean, "Well, maybe He will and maybe
He won't." Or, "I'll pray about it for awhile and if I don't get
my answer, well then, it just isn't God's will." That is blaming
God when it is we who have dialed incorrectly. The passage
concludes with, "and we know that we have the petitions that we
DESIRED." Jesus said, "You shall ASK what you will, and it shall _______ ___
be done unto you;" (John 15:7). These two words, desired and ask
are the same Greek word. Both passages, I John 5:14-15 and John
157,, say that WE are to ASK and if we do so, not only are we __ ____
assured an answer - "and it shall be done unto you" - but we can
likewise pray with confidence - boldness.
The problem most of us face when praying is what does it
mean if we don't receive an answer? "Well, it must not have been
God's will or I would have gotten my answer?" Is that how you
dial a friend on the phone? Do you dial and then, if there is no
answer, assume they did not wish to talk to you? Do you give up
and say, "Well, I'm never going to call that person again. They
just don't want to talk to me." Then why pray that way? If God
does not answer a particular prayer right away, why would we
assume He is disinterested in doing so; especially when He said
He wanted to answer our petitions? What happened to faith?
Stop being paranoid. Just keep praying and claiming His
promises. He said He would answer. If you do not have faith
when you pray, don't dial His number...it will look like He, God,
is not home or that He is not interested in hearing from you.
The first time I applied for a business loan, I discovered:
1: I was asking for more than they were willing to lend, and 2:
my request was made according to my terms; instead of the bank's.
When the loan officer explained the bank's terms, I reapplied and
secured a loan. Knowing the bank's terms and asking according to
those terms made the difference. So it is with God. We either
ask according to His terms or experience rejection and
frustration. If we, on the other hand, are willing to conform to
His terms for asking, we can petition Him with great confidence -
boldness. Thus, interpret I John 5:14 as: "And this is the
confidence that we have in Him, that, if we ask any thing
according to His terms, He hears us."
The word petitions in I John 5:15, "and we know that we have
the petitions that we desired of Him," is also found in one of
Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer
and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be
made known unto God.
The word requests is the same Greek word translated
petitions in I John 5:15. Thus we discover God's terms for
asking: "Prayer, supplication, and thanksgiving."
It is amazing how often we pray without ever really praying.
We tell Him all about the problem and how difficult it is for us.
We inform Him on just how worried we are that things are not
going to turn out. We remind the Lord that He did not do too
well the last time we asked Him for help - probably because we're
such a poor Christian - and we even doubt that He will do much
this time; but, bless God, we ask nevertheless. So much for
If we are going to petition God, we must ask. The word for
prayer in Philippians 4:6 means exactly that - to ask. The
Greek word proseuche for "prayer" simply means to pray. Its
prefix, pro, means (forward) or )in front).
Calling long distance has been made convenient with "dial 1"
service. The days of requiring the assistance of an operator are
nearly gone. Now we simply press #1, followed by an area code,
followed by the seven digit number. When you pray, REMEMBER to
"dial #1." Do not forget the pro of prayer - in front - where
God is. Place the God of answered prayer "in front" where He
belongs. Turn from the natural realm where the problem resides,
and step into the supernatural where God, who is Spirit, lives.
It is there, in the spiritual realm, where our petitions are
presented before our Heavenly Father. Remember, however, to be
sure to put on the whole armor of God as you do so. [See Eph.
6:10-18 for instructions]. As we do so, we will be spiritually
giving conception and God will thus give life, answer, to our
Following conception, there is a period of gestation -
development - which precedes birth. If prayer, petitioning, is
spiritual conception, supplication is that period of gestation
and should be maintained until the answer is given - bORN. This
period of time, the time of supplication, is Scriptural
When a mother conceives, she has nine months in which to
CARRY her child. Her body changes physically because she now has
different needs chemically. Her emotions shift because of
hormonal changes. She eats differently and watches her diet.
Wise moms abstain from certain foods and activities to provide
the fullest protection possible for the growing child. Adequate
rest and proper sleep ADDITIONALLY play an important roll as the
baby develops. This period of gestation is, spiritually
speaking, supplication. and it is only the beginning.
After conceiving in the spiritual realm, it will take
diligent watchfulness if that petition, prayer, is ever to be
born. Again examining Ephesians 6:10-18, we see that we are
doing spiritual battle when we pray. We are additionally
commanded: "Praying always with all prayer and supplication in
the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and
supplication for all saints." The "watching", protecting, is
supplication. It is during that period of gestation,
development, in which we take God's Holy Word and confirm His
promises. Such agreement with God is what Jesus was teaching His
disciples in John 15:7-8: "If you abide in me, and my Words
abide in you." This word, abide, is translated elsewhere in the
King James Version as (abode, dwell, remain, tarry, continue,
endure, present), and (stand). Such is the nature, character, of
"supplication." Protect your petitions by confirming the
promises of God's Word perpetually. How long should you practice
such prayer? Until you receive an answer!
If you get the idea that personal responsibility is ended
when you receive an answer to your prayers, think again. Paul
said that when such petitions were made, it was to be done by
"prayer, supplication, and with thanksgiving." This giving of
thanks is available to every Believer for the expressed purpose
of protecting that petition until maturity - fruition. This
"thanksgiving" is an attitude of spiritual contentment. How can
we be spiritually content when the answer has not yet come? By
Many Christians express concern over giving thanks in
advance of any answer not yet experienced. This attitude of
contentment is not thanking God for an answer not yet received.
It is thanking God for being the God of every circumstance. It
is appreciating God for having the power to answer our requests.
It is the utilization of God's promises in the spirit of
agreement. It is seeing, knowing, that God hears and answers the
prayers of His people. the expression of such spiritual
contentment demonstrates our faith. The greek word for
thanksgiving means the usage of grateful language. Hence;
worship. Worship god during the period of gestation. It is
perhaps our most powerful weapon as believers.
It is amazing how often a baby, then a child, and finally a
teenager, tries to kill themself during the various stages of
growth development. Falling during the weeks of learning to
walk, cracking their head on the corner of the coffee table,
rolling down the stairs, getting bitten by the dog, scratched by
the cat, and stung by a bee all contribute to their early
education. Later they discover touching hot stoves, crashing
bicycles, falling from trees, stepping on rusty nails, breaking
bones, stapling fingers together, hammering thumbs, scraping
knees, and rolling off top bunks as useful tools for increasing
their knowledge of life as growing children. Then it gets worse.
Parents spend most of this time simply trying to protect their
children from doing great bodily harm to themselves.
How far are you willing to go to protect your prayers? How
much time are you willing to spend in worshiping god as you wait
for your petition to be answered? When it is answered, how much
time is generally spent in praise and adoration of the God who
heard and answered your request? If this aspect of petitioning
is overlook or neglected, the Devil, who comes to steal, kill,
and destroy, will rob us of many blessings. Show spiritual
contentment when you petition God. Exercise thanksgiving.
I caution you not to consider these three steps, prayer
supplication, and thanksgiving; as a prayer formula by which you
can twists God's arm. Simply think of them as the "elements" of
prayer and be careful to incorporate them in your petitioning of
the Heavenly Father. It's like dialing long distance: First
press #1, [prayer]. Next the area code: [supplication]. and
finally the number: [thanksgiving.] He's never busy, and, once
it starts ringing; never hang up! By the way, it's toll free;
End Of Document
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