Lists don’t seem too important unless you’re on somebody’s list. As a child did you want to be on Santa’s list, the nice and not naughty one? When you got older, you may have strived to be on the Dean list or your boss’s promotion list. But have you every stopped and thought about whose list you are on today? How about a prayer list? Does your name fall on one? Do you have one?
In the early 1940’s Oskar Schindler had a list. His list was made up of Jewish captures of the Nazi regime. His list started out by making money off of his people (the list), but over time he turned the list into saving lives. By the end of the war, he would spend millions on saving 1,200 persecuted Jewish lives from the concentration camps and certain death. When he died in 1974, he died penniless and broken. Engraved on his gravestone in Hebrew it said; “Righteous Among Nations” the highest compliment the Israeli government could give a non-Jew. In German, the inscription read; “The Unforgettable Lifesaver of 1,200 Persecuted Jews.” A simple list made all the difference. Today nearly eight thousand decedents of those who Oskar Schindler saved, are alive today, all because of his list.
The Bible speaks in Isaiah 49:1 about a list; “See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands; your walls are ever before me.” When you accepted Christ into your heart, he writes your name on a list, and he keeps in the palm of his hand.
A prayer list is a powerful tool that strikes at the heart of Satan. Many fear Satan because of his powers, yet our God has tools that Satan could only wish for. Many struggles with their prayer life because they don’t think they pray enough. I want to provide three tools to help you develop a prayer life and a prayer list for others.
1.) Relax you pray enough.
Do I pray enough you may ask yourself? The answer by God is, YES! When you sing hymns of the church, you are praying. When you think about sister so and so who is sick, you are praying. When you smile at another person’s joke or blessings, you are praying. Prayer is not merely sitting down and saying okay God listen up and giving a laundry list of issues to him. Instead, say like Luke did when he wrote; “Lord Teach us to pray” (Luke 11:1). It’s about knowing that he is with you all the time and that no matter what you are doing, you are communing with God.
2.) Listen to what God has to say.
Do you have a listening ear? Do people come to you to share with you their burdens and issues? When you listen to God, you get a lot more back than if you’re talking. I heard someone say; “Listen 90% of the time and tell God your problems 10% of the time”, revolutionary when you stop and think about it. Don’t be so busy listening to others that you forget to listen to God.
By listening more to God, I know that you can connect more with him and develop the list he wants you to have for your life.
3.) Write a prayer list.
Develop a prayer list that has people’s needs on them. Anytime you hear a need write it down. Carry around with you a little notepad or tablet, and every time you feel it in your pocket or see it in your purse say a little prayer for those on the list. Stop and consider the need, the person, the issue, and then listen to how God would want you to help them.
List are still important; you should understand the value of a prayer list. So, who’s on your list today? If you don’t have one, I encourage you to develop one today. It may just change your life.
Don’t let excuses be an excuse
In the Bible, it talks about a man who sat by the Bethesda pool for thirty-eight years waiting to get his chance in the healing waters found in John 5:1-15. He is described as a man who was paralyzed and understood that if he could touch the water first as the angels stirred up the water each morning, he would be healed. The man while looking helpless was not hopeless. Even though he sat there for thirty-eight years, he was still hopeful that one day he would be the first person to touch the healing waters. Does that speak to you today? Do you feel helpless to overcome the difficulty in your life, but you’re still hopeful that your circumstance in life will change?
Don’t allow your paralysis to paralyze your future. Take hold today that feeling sorry for yourself will only keep you from moving forward. To many times we make excuses because we don’t know how to gain access to freedom from the problem. God tells us don’t let excuses be an excuse, but to push forward and into his reward he has for you here on earth and in heaven.
Christ asked the man; “Do you want to get well?” (John 5:6) It reminds us that an honest assessment must be made by asking the questions;
Why am I in this situation? What is keeping me from achieving my dream? What should I do?
Excuses create an exit to stay in the situation that you are in. Unless you are willing to search your soul, evaluate the questions asked, and be ready to move forward, you only stay where your mind is. Your condition can become terminal because of your thinking. Terminal thinking brings about physical decline. Studies have shown if you think you are sick, you can will your body to get sick. So reverse the trend by saying to yourself, I am beautiful, God is blessing, my health is being restored, and you will see a change in your spirit, attitude, and thinking.
You can’t shy away from problems by speaking your problems into existence, but you don’t have to retreat into yourself, but you do have to rethink, restart, and react in a new positive way. Reprogram your negative thoughts into positive ones. Allow the Spirit to transform your current situation into a Godly position. Restart your life by moving on from the issue that is holding you back. Don’t react to your situation in a negative manner but a positive one. If someone says you’re no good, then turn it around and say you’re good enough. If someone says; you’re never going to make it. Turn it around and say; I am going to achieve all my dreams, hopes, and desires.
When Jesus spoke the man finally took notice. You too take notice because Jesus is saying to you today, get up, move up and move out. Get up from your despair and stop feeling sorry for yourself. Allow God to help you become a better you. Do Well by standing on the promises of God. He created you in his image not in the picture of failure but of greatness. Greatness lives inside of you. Then finally move out. Become the new you and show yourself and others that today is a new day. Don’t allow excuses to be an excuse to stay where you are today.