God is Ready to Answer Your Prayers

 

Story Behind Book

Something Good Out Of Difficulties
On a crisp autumn evening, my pastor-husband, Doug, and I stood in the entry of our home before he left for an elders’ meeting. Gently he spoke the words both of us were feeling. “The meeting will probably be confrontational, and it will last for more than an hour.”

For several years, the church where he pastored experienced love-filled services, profound joy, and rapid growth. Recently, leadership was going through turmoil. Now another meeting. My heart ached for him. I hugged him and said, “I’ll pray for you the whole time you are gone.”

Even as I spoke the words I felt weak. I had never prayed that long before, and I didn’t know how I would do it. God answered my prayers—but being a busy Mom, I mostly prayed as I went about my tasks, and as I walked to work.

After Doug left, I climbed the stairs to our bedroom, picked up my Bible, and knelt by our bed. And wept. “God, I don’t know how to pray for Doug for more than an hour. Will You help me?”

How God Led Me To Pray
I opened my Bible and began to read. The verse leaped off the page. It was a prayer. I put Doug’s name in it, adjusted the pronouns, left out some phrases, and prayed with my eyes open as I read. The next verse was a prayer too. The next verse wasn’t. I kept on. Faith grew in me. I was praying specific prayers from my heart for Doug, and had the wonderful assurance that God was listening and empowering him.

Time sped by quickly. A car drove up our driveway, and I glanced at my watch. Three hours had passed by! I was amazed. I hurried down the stairs to open the front door. I wanted to see the look in Doug’s eyes and catch the expression on his face. He was radiant.

“What happened?” I asked!
“Gladie, you have no idea what God did,” he said.
“I might,” I responded.
Doug continued, “God gave me such strength and wisdom and understanding. The Lord was so wonderful!” I flashed him a big smile.

“I want to show you how God led me to pray.”

I read some of the verses that I had prayed for him. We were humbled and elated at the same time. In that short timeframe, God showed us what He does—as we pray.

In the past, I had used Scripture as a basis for prayer, and Doug prayed that way all the time. But I had never read Scripture aloud and prayed at the same time: keeping my eyes open, placing a person’s name in the verse, and making adjustments to the verse as I read.

Before, praying Scripture had often been a memory exercise for me—reading Scripture, closing my eyes to pray, trying to remember what I had just read, and looking back when I forgot.

A New Way to Pray
That night marked a new beginning for me. I started to have a better understanding that when we pray God's Word into people's lives, He acts!

The reason is obvious: God's Word is His will. He says, “If you remain in Me and My words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you….For the word of God is living and active…. I send it out, and it always produces fruit. It will accomplish all I want it to, and it will prosper everywhere I send it.” John 15:7; Hebrews 4:12 (NIV); Isaiah 55:11 (NLT)



God's Powerful Word Heals
Prior to that night of prayer, I had left a stressful job. Home alone after my family left in the morning, I spent blocks of time with the Lord. For five hours a day I read the Bible, other helpful books, and prayed. Now I added praying Scripture-based prayers. I did this for five months.

One day someone asked me, “How are you doing?”

I responded, "If God adds one more drop of grace in my life, I think I will light up like a light bulb."

The Power of Praying Scripture-Based Prayers

God used praying Scripture-based prayers to help me refocus after my traumatic work experience and to find healing. Praying this way also revitalized my prayer life. I experienced profound joy praying His Word into the lives of my family and others. The Lord was near.

Preliminary Developments
In January 1993, Doug accepted a call to pastor a church in British Columbia. I continued to pray Scripture-based prayers, especially when I carried a specific burden. But sometimes I spent more time looking for the prayers than actually praying. To help, I arranged the prayers on slips of paper. I used them and gave them to others. They found them helpful and asked for more.

During the next ten years Doug and I moved several times, then settled in Victoria. In 2003, I started to work on a different format for the prayers. Cards. But before I finished the project, we moved to a condo and started renovations. That took up my time.

An Exciting Development
In January 2004, Doug announced to the congregation that he wanted to preach through the entire New Testament that year. He pointed out that if we read five chapters a week, we could finish reading it in one year. He explained that each week he would choose a passage from one of those five chapters and preach from it on Sunday. Excitement mounted.

At home I expressed to Doug, "I would like to put those five chapters into prayers. Could I hand out a portion of them each Sunday?” He thought the idea timely and allocated space on the back of the bulletin.

Resulting Book Format
This book is the result of these two experiences: Scripture-based REQUESTS, PRAYERS, AND THANKSGIVING from our year of reading through the New Testament (left side of the book); and Scripture-based INTERCESSION (right side of the book) to help us pray for others.

Gladie Russell
Victoria, British Columbia

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