“Give yourselves completely to God—every part of you—for you are back from death and you want to be tools in the hands of God, to be used for his good purposes."
Romans 6:13 (TLB)
Since God is multidimensional, you don’t want to make your prayers one-dimensional. There are actually five dimensions of your life that you can pray about.
When you pray, look backward to the cross.
It’s good to start your prayers with the cross, because it helps you have an attitude of gratitude. When you think about Jesus dying for you on the cross, it reminds you how deeply God loves you, how costly sin is, and how completely you’re forgiven.
“God paid a ransom to save you . . . he paid for you with the precious lifeblood of Christ, the sinless, spotless Lamb of God” (1 Peter 1:18-19 TLB).
When you pray, look upward into the face of a loving Father.
The way you see God will influence every area of your life, including whether or not your prayers are fruitful. If you only make one change to your prayers, start calling God “Father.” You’ll start to better understand just how much he loves you and how he works for your good.
Romans 8:16-17 says, “For his Spirit joins with our spirit to affirm that we are God’s children. And since we are his children, we are his heirs” (NLT).
When you pray, look inward to Jesus living in you.
Jesus is in you, and you are unconditionally accepted by God the Father. This gives you the freedom and courage to face up to your faults. Before you can get better, you have to admit what’s bad.
“Test yourselves to make sure you are solid in the faith. Don’t drift along taking everything for granted. Give yourselves regular checkups” (2 Corinthians 13:5 The Message).
When you pray, ask the Holy Spirit to use you.
Instead of complaining about or judging the world, just say, “Holy Spirit, show me what’s wrong and how I can make a difference. Use me.” When you make yourself available to God, he will use you for his good.
The Bible says, “Give yourself completely to God—every part of you—for you are back from death and you want to be tools in the hands of God, to be used for his good purposes” (Romans 6:13 TLB).
When you pray, look forward to your future in faith.
Parents love to hear their children talk about their dreams—and so does God! Tell him about your thoughts, ideas, and dreams. He is a good Father who is waiting for you to talk to him.
“I’m convinced that God, who began this good work in you, will carry it through to completion on the day of Christ Jesus” (Philippians 1:6 GW).
Talk It Over
- How does focusing your prayer around what Jesus did on the cross develop an attitude of gratitude?
- Do your prayers sound like a child talking to a loving Father? Why or why not?
- In what ways can changing the way you pray about problems in the world change the way you act in the world and serve others?
By: Rick Warren