Tag Archives: Prayer

What Stimulates Your Brain’s Neurons?

I was glad when they said unto me, Let us go into the house of the LORD. —Psalm 122:1

Martin Lindstrom is one of the world’s best brand building experts. He is the author of the groundbreaking book: Buyology: The Truth and Lies About Why We Buy.  His research helps corporations like Coca-Cola, Nestle, and Red Bull to market their products so people will be motivated to buy them. Time Magazine called him one the “World’s 100 Most Influential People.”

This week I read about a fascinating experiment Lindstrom did using an MRI. This experiment lead him to the conclusion that smartphones have become akin to a best friend in the lives of many people. When the subjects of his experiment heard their phone ring, their brains “fired off” neurons in the area associated with feelings of love and compassion.   Lindstrom said, “It was as if they were in the presence of a girlfriend, boyfriend, or family member.”

It got me to thinking:  How many Christians have a closer relationship to their cellphones than they do to the Lord Jesus Christ. How many neurons in your brain associated with love get “fired off” about spending time with Jesus in prayer, Bible study, or going to church (Ps. 122:1)!

Jesus is a better friend than any smartphone! No one loves or cares for you more than Jesus.  If you pay more attention to your smartphone than you do to Jesus, your phone has become an idol in your life.

Leave It With God

It is the LORD: let him do what seemeth him good. —1 Samuel 3:18

When young Samuel informed Eli that God was going to put an end to his family, how did Eli receive the bad news?  He said, “It is the LORD: let him do what seemeth him good.”

When Abishai and Joab were surrounded by enemies, Joab looked at the situation and said, “Let us play the men for our people and for the cities of our God: and the LORD do that which seemeth him good.” (2 Sam. 10:12).

These expressions reveal a willingness to leave the outcome of their situations with God, who will do what is best. Instead of dictating to God how He needs to resolve our problems, how much better to leave our difficult situations in God’s hands. After all, isn’t God “able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think” (Eph. 3:20). When we know God as we should, we will pray, “I leave it to Thee, Lord.  Do what seemeth to Thee good.”

For example. Suppose you have a friend in some trouble.  You have a plan that will help him. However, in the meantime, he comes to you to borrow some money that will only give temporary relief. His need is not for money.  His request for money limits your ability to help.  His low thoughts cannot rise to what you are able to do for him.

Why doesn’t your friend “ask or think” more “worthy” of your ability?  Because he does not know you well enough!  He measures your willingness and ability to help by his own weak power to ask.  Thus it is when we don’t know God’s exceeding abundant power to give beyond anything we ask or think our prayers are weak and anemic.

I recently read the following prayer of a man who really knew God, and was aware of his own weaknesses:  “Lord, what wilt Thou?  Do not heed my requests if Thou seest they are not good.  Do not do, or give this, because I ask for it.  Withhold it, if Thou, who seest the end from the beginning, seest it will not be for my good.  I am so foolish and ignorant before Thee, and Thou art so wonderful, so wise, and so good. … Oh, that I may be filled with the knowledge of Thy will, in all wisdom and spiritual understanding—that I may enjoy the perfect rest which that knowledge will give.”

HOW MANY OF OUR PRAYERS ARE LIKE THIS?

How Big Is Your God?

Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think… —Ephesians 3:20

The size of your faith will determine the size of your God.  God operates on our behalf within the parameters of our faith.  God desires to “shew himself strong” but His might is often dwarfed by our midget faith.   Jesus “did not many mighty works there because of their unbelief” (Mt. 13:58).  Jesus said, “According to your faith be it unto you” (Mt. 9:29).

On one occasion, the Bible says, “the power of the Lord was present to heal them” (Luke 5:17).  Unfortunately, only one man was actually healed.  Why were not more healed? The problem was not in the power—It was present! The problem was an absence of faith.

God invites us “open thy mouth WIDE, and I will fill it” (Ps. 81:10).  Our problem is we ask too little and think too small.  Our mistake is in thinking God is altogether such an one as ourselves (Ps. 50:21).  We ask according as a man would ask of another man, and therefore expect nothing more than what a finite man can provide.

After 2000 years, we are still standing around asking God, “Lord, IF thou canst do anything… help us.” And He still says to us, “IF thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth.”

In The Name of Jesus

…in the name of the Lord Jesus… —Colossians 3:17

The phrase “in the name of the Lord Jesus” means to do something as though it were literally Jesus doing it.  For example, if I give power of attorney to someone, I am giving them authority to act or decide something as though it was literally me doing it.

And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus…”  (Col. 3:17).  God wants us to speak and live as though it was Jesus Himself doing it.

When Paul said, “we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ,” (2 Thess. 3:6), his command was as good as if Jesus were making the command Himself.

We are told to pray in the name of Jesus (John 16:23, 26). Again, that means we should pray as if we were Jesus praying.

When we grasp this truth, it will transform how we speak… what we do… and how we pray.  Think about it:  Do you speak as though it was Jesus speaking.  Are your deeds as though Jesus were doing them?  Do you pray like Jesus prayed?

Looking in Prayer

…the dogs eat of the crumbs which fall from their masters’ table.” —Matthew 15:27

My two rat terriers know when a meal is being prepared at the kitchen counter.  They come and sit at my feet and intently watch my every move as I’m making a sandwich.  They are looking and longing for a crumb to fall their way.  Sometimes I look down at them and I cannot resist the longing look in their eyes. So I give in and toss them a piece of lunchmeat or crust of bread.

Martin Luther once commented about a dog watching him eat in hopes of being rewarded with a morsel of food.  Luther observed, “Oh, if I could only pray the way this dog watches the meat!  All his thoughts are concentrated on the piece of meat. Otherwise he has no thought, wish, or hope.”

Do you pray that way? Is your mind fully focused on God answering your prayer? Does your heavenly Master look down see you as you fervently pray, looking up to Him for an answer?

O LORD; in the morning will I direct my prayer unto thee, and WILL LOOK UP. —Psalm 5:3