Not all that long ago there were no cell phones, no fax
machines, no computers and no internet. Today we have instant communication in
many different forms. The major communication tool of today is the cell phone.
We can email someone, text message them or pull them up on Skype or Facebook
messenger and talk to them face-to-face.
Then there is Snapchat, WhatsApp or
any number of other apps that are available to communicate with one another. We
also have personal computers, laptops and tablets that can be used for all
forms of communication. It is amazing that we have so many options available to
us to keep in touch with other people. And yet it seems like we’re farther
apart from people than we ever have been .
Face-to-face communication is happening less and less.
I have seen teens sit across the room and text each other rather than just sit
next to each other and talk. Fortunately, we cannot text God! Our line of
communication with God is called prayer and it must be done vocally or
thoughtfully. In other words, we can speak it at any volume, or we can just
think it and direct that thought toward Him. I believe the spoken
communication with God is the best form as there is power in our spoken words,
just as there is power in the spoken words of God. After all, He
did speak all creation into existence.
There are 6 parts to effective communication on any
level. If we leave out even one part, we are not fully implementing our
ability to communicate. Since prayer is usually considered a type of
request we can list these major parts as asking, being heard, being understood,
expecting a response, listening for a response and accepting the
We must ask. Jesus said our Father knows what we have
need of before we even ask (Matt 6:32). He still wants us to ask
because that lets Him know whether we know what we really need or not.
And we must ask for the right reasons (James 4:3). I must
admit that my little dog communicates very well without a sound. He hangs out in the kitchen when I am cooking,
hoping that just a little morsel will fall to the ground. This is his form of asking. Any crumb that falls, He claims. We never outright give him anything, so it is
all hope on his part. He just looks
patiently and watches. I know he is
asking for a bite. He has high hopes
that he will get just a bit.
This is a great example of how we should ask. The only difference is that we should be
verbal about it, not silent like my dog is.
But we should ask all the time if necessary until we get an answer. Just because the answer does not come the
first time we ask does not mean God will not answer. My dog knows that well. He always comes to my feet when I am
cooking. He is always expecting to get
something. He is relentless. Our prayers should be the same.
For more on our communication with God, pick up my book “The
ASK Principle”. Just click on the Buy
Now button on this page. Your prayer
life will never be the same!
I am convinced that everyone prays. Even
an atheist has a way of expressing their needs to someone
or something other than themselves.
They too need help through difficult times. There is something deep
within every human being that cries out for help. When trouble comes our way or
when someone we know is going through struggles, we reach out. Major
religions around the world each have their own view of what prayer should include. There are also many ideas on how prayer
should be delivered. Some require a
set schedule of prayer, while for others, it’s more a form of meditation.
Prayer is a vital element of the human soul.
I was raised in
church. My mom was the church secretary in a small congregational
church in Massachusetts when we were growing up. We had to be in church! I sang in the
children’s choir. Our family was involved in everything that went on at church.
At 13, I was confirmed and started being a teacher’s helper in Sunday School. A
friend and I ran a small teen hangout in the church for a while. We were at
We learned to pray
at an early age. Reciting our bedtime
prayers and praying over meals were the two ways we practiced. Unfortunately
when I reached the rebellious age of 16, I wandered away from church and
set out on a road of self-destruction. Drugs, alcohol, sex, and parties
were all that seemed to matter. Church was ignored. Even then, I can remember praying at certain
times. It is something that stuck with me even when I was away from
God. I wasn’t even sure at times who I was praying to. I just knew I had to call out
to something greater than myself.
I remember one instance where my group
of friends and I were working on a car.
We were all far from God and full of trouble. We were trying to get the transmission apart
from the bell housing and one of the bolts just would not come out. We all tried with no success. None of us really believed in God and we
never darkened a church door. As a last
hope, my friend Wayne made the statement, “OK, God. If this bolt comes out, I will go to church
this Sunday.” He gave it another try and
the bolt came out like it was never stuck.
I remember it like it happened yesterday. Today I ask myself why that prayer was
answered and so many others, from true Christians who love the Lord, seemingly
go unanswered. By the way, he did not go
to church the next Sunday.
In 1976, I made a trip
to Iowa. We attended a service earlier
in the week. The preacher had me
convinced I was going to hell, and I knew I did not want to go there! The
night before I was going to head home, my friend’s pastor came to his
trailer. There, in my best friend’s
mobile home, I prayed the sinners’ prayer.
I asked Jesus to be my Lord and Savior. I was saved that night. Upon returning
to Massachusetts, I started attending that same congregational church I grew up
in. Two years later, on a return trip to
Iowa, I met my future wife and moved to Iowa in 1978. We were married by
year’s end. Three children and five
grandchildren have come along and we will soon be celebrating 40 years
This was a time when I
really started to grow in the Lord and learn His ways. I was focused on
building a family and growing in the Lord. Long hours were spent in
prayer and in the Word. Reading through
the Bible several years in a row brought understanding. Studying things I did not understand were all
priorities of mine. Seeking God for wisdom was at the top of my list
during those years. I became a worship leader in my small church. Some lay ministry and prison outreach
occurred. I developed a prayer life, but I always sensed there was a lot
more than I currently realized.
I had so many questions
about prayer through these years of my walk with the Lord that I decided to
study and learn for myself. What is prayer? When should we
pray? How should we pray? Why should we pray? How can we
pray effectively? In 1990, I earnestly sought the Lord with these
questions and developed the basics for what I thought would eventfully be a
book. After finishing the study, it sat on a shelf at home. I was busy raising a family and growing my
career. The book would not get done and
the study was forgotten.
I was diagnosed with
Multiple Myeloma Cancer in the spring of 2016.
My treatment included two stem cell transplants in the first six
months. The recovery was lengthy. Maintenance chemo would continue for two
years during which I slowly regained strength. In the winter of 2107-2018, the
notes from this study were found in a house cleaning session. I decided
to take another look at what I had written out thirty years earlier. I found dozens of scripture references, notes
to myself, ideas I had forgotten about and a study just as relevant today as it
During my illness I
felt directed to start a blog which would concentrate on Bible study. After going through Philippians, Galatians,
Psalms and James, the Lord put it on my heart to take this study and put it out
on my blog. Ideas and concepts were
added that I had learned since the original study. I was pleased it was so well received by my
The blog posts were
gathered together and I realized that I now had the book from thirty years ago.
It amazes me how God can bring things
about. Had it not been for my illness,
this book would not have happened. It is
my belief that God uses our worst circumstances to do amazing things in our
lives. This book is a prime example. If I had not become sick and had such a long
recovery time, I would have been too busy with career and other things to put
this all together. Because He gave me
this time and directed me to put this book together, I believe the church will
benefit greatly by the contents.
My desire is that
together we can get a better understanding of the inner workings of
prayer. There are a lot of very familiar concepts and verses
included. There are also some things
that God has allowed me to share with you that might be a little different than
the way you have always understood prayer. By keeping an open mind, I believe
we will all gain new insights into our prayer lives.
We desperately need prayer in this world
today. Effective, heartfelt prayer that
will touch the heart of God. Prayer for
healing. Prayer for deliverance. Prayer for finances. Prayer for our cite, our state, our
country. Prayer for our families. I pray this book will help you develop that
kind of prayer life and will strengthen the kingdom of God in these last
days. I pray it will glorify God for the
wonderful gift of prayer that He has given us. I pray this book
will start a tsunami of prayer that will sweep the church, our nation, and our
world. The enemy of our souls is raising
his head in so many places. It’s time to
come against him with our most effective weapon – our prayers!