Use this God-given tool for a more intentional prayer life.
Posted in , Sep 7, 2016
The following is a guest post by Jeanette Levellie, author of the new book, Touchable God: Finding the Lord’s Friendship Through Prayer. She is a pastor’s wife, author, and speaker whose passion is to help people discover the bottomless heart of God.
“Do you have grandchildren? Tell me about them.”
I needed a distraction. To prepare me for cesarean surgery, the kind, sixtyish nurse was fighting to find a vein large enough to put an IV in. She was on the fourth try, and my arm had had enough. I closed my eyes to pray while she talked about her darlings. “Please, Lord, open that vein,” I begged, while imagining a picture in my mind of a vein tightly shut. I saw it spiraling open, growing large enough to let sunlight in. Suddenly the nurse exclaimed, “We got it! At last!” I sighed and thanked the Lord.
I had just discovered a method of prayer I’ve used many times since, that of imagining what you are asking God to do. It’s a little “faith-helper.” But it works in a big way.
Most of us leave behind the world of imagination when we leave childhood. Our adult worlds are full of the realities of earning a living, holding together relationships, and staying healthy. We rarely use our imaginations apart from decorating a room, planning a garden, or dreaming of a vacation.
Yet God gave us the wonderful tool of imagining for us to use all our lives. It’s not simply for artists, writers, or architects, but for everyone. He gave us the ability to see something before it actually takes place as a way of helping Him bring it about.
I’m sure this is what the chronically sick woman in Mark 5 did. She told herself, “If I just touch his clothes, I will be healed” (Mark 5:28, NIV). No doubt she saw it in her imagination a thousand times, followed through on that thought, and it became a reality for her. Power went out of Jesus through His robe, and it instantly healed her of a malady she’d had for twelve years.
Jesus told a man, “Let it be done just as you believed it would” (Matthew 8:13, NIV). The writer of Hebrews tells us, “Faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see” (Hebrews 11:1, NIV). That assurance must be in our hearts and minds for it to become real.
We can help our prayers along by visualizing the answers. This is not only “positive thinking”; it is using the brain God gave us to speed up the fulfillment of the dreams and plans He’s put in our hearts. If we ask God for a happy marriage, a growing church, or wisdom on the job but don’t expect Him to give it to us, what’s the point of asking? But if we visualize it happening as we ask, and keep the picture before us (as the woman in Mark 5 may have done), we create expectancy in our hearts that draws God’s favor to us.
God is a good God Who gives only good gifts. But He wants us to ask, in faith. And sometimes our faith needs a little help. So He’s graciously given us just the help we need, right inside our minds.