A Prayer Strategy

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In a rather simple instruction on the proper mindset for prayer, Jesus presented a powerful picture that includes the discipline of all five of our executive faculties.

“… if you have faith and never doubt, you will … say to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and cast into the sea,’ it will be done. And whatever you ask in prayer, you will receive, if you have faith.”

Matthew 21:21-22

What is involved in a prayer strategy? We start by defining our mountain. What mental picture are you holding that is triggering your fear response? For some, this can easily be defined as a current challenge. Others may have difficulty defining a specific issue. If you are among these, you may be experiencing a general fear of the future. As you progress through this exercise, specific concerns will likely become clear. You can also journal, asking yourself the question: “What, exactly am I afraid of?” Jot down your answers. No matter how insignificant these may seem, you and I know better than any analysts what terrifies us. Do not be afraid to put it in writing so you can look at it. You want an accurate understanding of your mountain, and you are the only person on this planet that can provide it. So, take all the time you need to bring it into clear focus.

The next step is to visualize this situation completely dissolving (imagination). One way of doing this is to imagine it as a swirling mass of energy. You see it, you feel its negative presence, and then you begin to see it dissipating. Cast your mountain into the sea. See your log jam begin to break up and move.

The next step is to direct your faculty of faith. Totally accept that this thing is dissolving and expect to see the evidence that this is so. The first evidence will likely be at your own feeling level. Hold this thought and feel the stress in your body begin to lessen. Do not attempt to force anything. If you run down to the log jam and start trying to move the logs yourself, you’ll find it is impossible. Trust the river’s natural current. You are giving your spiritual resources permission to start moving things. Believe that they are indeed moving.

Bring your judgment into play. Judgment is an evaluation. In your judgment, prior to this moment, you had an immovable mountain. Now you are reevaluating this mountain, saying it can be and is being moved. The log jam is breaking up. Staying with this new image requires an exercise of will. You have to be willing to maintain your new picture.

Finally, you want to take out the trash. Eliminate every shred of doubt. Eliminate every aspect of the old picture. Eliminate your fear of the mountain. See the log jam broken up and floating freely down the river, eliminating all doubt that this is happening now.

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