And I have other prayer lists, which have been growing.
So I asked Jesus if I could ask for directions for praying for these many worthy and wonderful Prayer Targets. He answered right away, “Sure! I do it all the time!” And brought to my mind how he intercedes for so many of us – always.
How do you do it, I ask? “Same as always,” Jesus replies. “Father shows or tells me. You can do the same.”
So I asked Jesus if I could ask for directions for praying for these many worthy and wonderful Prayer Targets. He gave me several ways:
First, he reminded me of how I used to have index cards with prayer needs and prayer targets, beginning and ending dates; notes on what happened. I got to know them so well I could go through them with prayer intentions that no longer took a lot of time.
First, I heard a concern here in a WhatsApp group about home robbery. Not sure what to do with that and suspecting it was more likely for long-term members, I just made a mental note of it and moved on to other things. A special note, because a brother in Christ and a good friend had his brother in Panama recently attacked in his own house by several men, one with a knife. He’s in a coma in the hospital, still. So the warning of a robber in a house struck me stronger than usual, was more noticeable than usual.
Not long afterwards I saw that a rainstorm was coming. Even verified this with a neighbor who is Panamanian and who I expect can read the weather here better than I. (This rainy season has had fewer rainy days than has been usual, but when they come the rain pours hard for many hours.) So I took dogs outside for a last chance to do their outside business.
Next day I was not doing well. Leg hurt, and I was not doing well at all. Unusual for me, but I noticed and tried to not do things that required me to be resourceful and at my best. I still ended up having two conversations, one by email and one by WhatsApp where I was not at my best. Maybe 60-70% of what is normal for me. So today I did what I could to set things right and to apologize.
Now, by hindsight, putting all this together…I am wondering if this was a Word of Knowledge warning me of a spiritual, not a physical attack.
Recently I’ve been in learning to recognize Words of Knowledge, something I had not previously noticed. I’m wondering how frequent they have been and how little I’ve noticed.
Another Word of Knowledge may have come, too. The tension in my leg from the leg cramp resulted in tension up and down my body on that side and eventually was resulting in a neck-headache. A painful one.
And the second picture I saw on Facebook led to my meeting with someone new, a person who captured the second photograph. Which turned out to be a Divine Appointment – someone with whom God wanted me to meet. We are learning from each other. This was a Divine Appointment or a big coincidence. And I am learning that big coincidences are often Divine Appointments, it’s worth paying attention and finding out.
In one day I had these two experiences with what may have been a Word of Knowledge. I think maybe they were just that.
What do you think? What does your experience tell you? What is your own experience with how you experience a Word of Knowledge?
You have a calling. God has called you to be and to do. You’re calling does not go away, God does not change his mind about such things. This makes it easier to notice you’re calling, because there is a pattern in your life that can be seen. Making your calling easier to notice, perceive, and discover things about.
What do I mean, discovering things about your calling? You are called to serve and to minister to certain people, certain kinds of people. And those people are generally called to receive well from and through you. What this means is that you do better when you serve and minister to such people: they are more receptive and eager, you are more gifted and skilled. Much less frustrating than ministering to those to whom you are not called.
Have you ever noticed how some people seem to make you “dumber” than you are? I’ll bet you have; we all have. This is something that happens to all of us.
Other people bring out the best in you, help you to be better and smarter and more effective than is usual for you. These are people you are gifted for, and people who are gifted to receive from. People you are called to, and people who are called to receive from you.
It’s important that you discover who such people are, what kinds of people these are in your life. So you can recognize them and search them out. So you can serve and minister to them on purpose. So you can discover and learn how you are called to serve and minister to them.
Because God called you to this.
Because you’ll be more successful when you respond well to your calling.
Because these people-groups and individuals will receive through you what God has called you to do for them. Such people hunger and need what you can offer to them.
It is a joy to serve such people. To succeed more effectively and more often. To be received eagerly and well by these people.
It is a *joy* to serve and to do what God has called you to be and to do.
So pray, remember things that have happened. Ruminate. Meditate. And discover more about how and to whom you have been called and created for in unique and wonderful ways. To serve.
It is a joy to be your best self. It is fun. It is wondrous and you will learn much as you serve.
Discover and learn about your calling, who you are called to serve, and how you are to serve them. Even where you are called to serve them.
Ask God to help you understand and respond well to your calling, he knows and knows well – he’s the one who called you!
Since God has called you, respond, and respond well. Be and do who and what you were *literally* created and made for.
And rejoice! Rejoice in our Lord. And follow – follow how you are called – and be filled with joy and wonder, rather than with frustration and pointlessness. This is a much better way to live, and too few do this. Too many suffer needlessly, not doing these things.
This *is* an amazing and wonderful way to be living! Do this – discover, learn and explore. You may have to experiment to discover such things – do so. It’s okay! And expect and be alert for clues and hints from Holy Spirit as you do so.
Who are you called to be? What are you called to do? With and for whom?
Be filled with so much joy you have to rejoice out loud. Rejoice!
I used to call the cat, even when the cat was far away. Even when I could not see the cat. This was not a dog that loves to come when called…this was a cat.
Gradually I noticed something peculiar, odd, strange…and wonderful. I usually knew when the cat was coming. Shadow was his name. He was nearly all black. I would see him running through the field, coming. I knew when I had connected with him, and I knew when he was coming. Even when I could not see him. Sometimes I felt no connection, and Shadow did not come at such times.
Then I experimented, and I am not sure why I did – but as I experimented, something even more strange and wonderful happened.
I did not call the cat out loud, I just called for Shadow to come, mentally. And to my amazement and delight, I still knew when we connected and when we did not. Most of the time we connected, and he would come running. Other times, nothing happened.
I remember wondering what was happening when we did not connect. Was he busy? Preoccupied? Purposely choosing to ignore my call? I still do not know, I have no idea. And sometimes I still wonder.
I learned that I could call Shadow with an intention to call, and I would know when we connected and when we did not. And when we connected, which was most of the time, he would come running.
So I experimented some more. I called things that were not as though they were. When the electrical power went out, I would call for it to come back on. I called for circumstances to change. And here is the odd and surprising and wonderful response – I called, and they would come. But only when I *really* meant it, wanted deeply, and when I was single minded in my intentions.
An intention to call something that was not as though it was would work, and mighty quick. Power would come on in a second and a half or so. But not until my wanting was thorough, deep and profound. Not until I was deeply sincere about it. And single minded.
I need to explore this and experiment and see what happens when calling by intention. I need to learn more about this.
I invite you to explore and experiment, too. Call whatever you want. Deeply want. When you are sincere and ready and determined to have what you are calling come to you.
I wonder how you will do this? How you will explore? What you will learn on the way? I hope you will share your discoveries with me. I deeply want to learn more about this. Do you?
We are also privately and secretly too certain that most prayer is too seldom answered. Of course, the word, “never” is so strong that we would not say it out loud. Many of us do not even say it to ourselves.
But there it is, lurking, underneath. The fear of yet more unanswered prayer.
No wonder so few of us are eager to pray! No wonder so many of us hesitate to pray. We have a terrible secret: it too often does no good.
Oh, we have reasons for this. Maybe God isn’t good. Maybe he’s mad at us. Some preachers act like he is. Full of judgement and anger, even. At sin. At how horrible we are. Even though we say otherwise in public, and often we say better than that to ourselves. Maybe we just do not understand his mysterious will nearly enough.
None of that is true. Yet it sure can seem that way!
And whenever we are suffering, our good answer to prayer seems to take too long.
I used to be like this. Then one day, it all changed for me.
I had been keeping track of prayers, so I would not forget. (I get distracted and forget far too easily and often. Including forgetting to pray powerfully for others. I need reminders.) Holy Spirit must have been guiding me, because I did it so well I made a tremendous and surprising discovery.
I used index cards. Kept track of who or what the prayer was for. When I started, and when I stopped. I prayed for three weeks, 21 days, unless asked to continue by another person or by God. I even kept track of what happened. I put Prayer Targets into writing.
Prayer Targets – visible results. Things noticeable. You can see what happened so well that it’s obvious what happened or changed and what did not.
These index cards helped me remember who to pray for, what to pray about. An enormous advantage that makes a difference.
Then it happened. I reviewed my prayer cards, the ones completed and finished. I made a discovery so unexpected, startling and amazing – that it literally transformed my prayer life.
Most of my prayers were answered. Most prayer targets were achieved. Nearly all of them! And quickly, too; even the speed was surprising. I was delighted. And I was surprised!
And I began to wonder how this could be. How is it that so many of my Prayer Targets were noticeably achieved and so quickly and I had somehow not noticed?
So I reviewed how I had prayed. And it slowly dawned on me: I was so concerned for the prayer targets that I was always praying and asking for something new. Something yet undone. Something important.
I was so focused so often on what was yet not accomplished and that seemed so important that I had never noticed how many Prayer Targets achieved – nearly all of them. With such good speed that, by hindsight, was amazing.
Please do this for yourself; discover and verify – most of your Prayer Targets are successful, and quickly. (And if not, find out the reason why! Good Prayer Target results are – dare I say it? Normal!
Big things like a new job or a new place to live would take – once I asked single-mindedly, about two days before the clue or hint came that led to success. Smaller things like headaches or personal problems with someone improved usually within two hours.
And I had never noticed. Not until I kept written records of Prayer Targets that could be noticed and observed.
I have habitually been focused on what’s needed and missing so many successes that I was not noticing or giving thanks for what God has already taken care of for others and for myself.
Not all Prayer Targets are quickly achieved. A small number of them drag on for a long, long time. I have come to suspect that the issue is often a lack of readiness to receive. When we are not ready, Prayer Target success take longer…until we are ready. Which is sometimes much longer than we realize or accept because we are so eager for good success.
Also important is single-minded faith, as described in the first chapter of James. When I or others are double minded, prayer success is not rapid. When double-minded, Prayer Targets are seldom achieved.
Strangely, it can take a year or two before single-mindedness occurs, especially for major changes. At least for me. I think it happens in this way. We are happy with a job or place we have; we were happy for the improvement. We’d asked for it, sought it out. We become comfortable with the way things are – even while we want yet more improvement. We are double minded and not and not yet really ready for change.
Oh! It’s the same issue!!We’re not ready. And when we are ready and single minded, when we ask for good things that God wills, it can then and most often does happen quickly.
God is good. Better than we think. Even better than many of us hope for much of the time. Better than we dare expect, even.
Prove and test this for yourself. Read the first chapter of James. It’s not long, but it sure makes a lot of points that we all need.
Choose noticeable Prayer Targets that allow you to rejoice with certainty when they are met. Do this in writing.
And discover for yourself, as I have – if I can do it you certainly can, too: most Prayer Targets are successfully achieved, and with wonderful speed.