Mark Affleck

Are Your Prayers Focused on GETTING or GROWING?

November 9, 2021
Spiritual Growth

My connection with Jesus skyrocketed when I began focusing my prayers on one verse in the Bible for a specified period—usually a week, often a few days, sometimes just 24 hours. It is a POWERFUL TOOL that generates this two-stroke benefit: 1) Jumpstarts and revitalizes your PRAYER LIFE; and 2) Produces spiritual growth and maturity.
I love the double-positive that comes with this spiritual habit. It helps me memorize scripture while at the same time focusing my attention on a specific part of God’s Word. It changes the goal of my prayers from “getting” something from my “want list” to “growing” according to God’s “plan and purpose.
In the beginning I worried about “finding” scripture to use in this process. But those fears drifted away once I committed to always be on the look-out for the Holy Spirit nudging me toward Scripture. For example, here are six verses that God recently led me to for this process: Romans 8:32; Isaiah 41:10; Isaiah 40:31; Exodus 14:14; Ephesians 2:10; and 2 Corinthians 5:7.
Let’s break down 2 Corinthians 5:7 as an example and then use it to form a prayer.
“For we live by faith, not by sight.” 2 Corinthians 5:7
THE OVERALL MESSAGE/THEME: Develop TRUST in God and have that trust direct your life. The context for Paul’s message is in the apostles’ struggle to spread Christianity in the face of life-threatening danger. He infers that earth was only a temporary home and that Heaven with Christ was for eternity. The apostles lived according to that truth of Heaven, not on how things appeared on earth.

“For WE
Originally referred to the apostles but extends to all believers then and now.
The word LIVE is how we are to conduct ourselves on earth according to the Word of God.
“…by FAITH…”
Faith is BELIEVING God’s assurance to be with us—no matter the circumstances–through what we “do not see,” and with the certainty of ALL his PROMISES for our FUTURE.
“…not by SIGHT.”
Do not allow “how things appear to us” influence our thoughts, feelings, and actions.
Father God: I want to live my life according to your Word with the faith to know you are with me no matter what, even when I cannot see or understand. Help me fight off the urge to interpret how things “look” to me. All and always to the glory of Jesus, Amen.

I always want to look at God’s Word as a gateway to my spiritual growth by using scripture to drive my prayers in a way that helps me focus on growing over getting.
Are Your Prayers Focused on GETTING or GROWING?
“For we live by faith, not by sight.” 2 Corinthians 5:7

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