We are familiar with the country song, “Looking for Love in all the Wrong Places,” but I realized today I was looking for peace in the wrong places.
Here is my story. I am in the middle of more dental work and experiencing pain and discomfort. I was hoping to get more work finished today as I would have to wait another 10 days otherwise. I won’t bore you with all the details, but I didn’t get to go today and I felt crestfallen…. perhaps I think I am a bird??? Anyway, one of the books I have studied from Graham Cooke talks about “crafting a prayer” when you are in a difficult situation. I really didn’t think I would be able to do it because I was feeling so emotional and anxious, but I decided to give it a try.
In the book, Crafted Prayer, Graham describes eleven steps which start with thanksgiving and worship, coming into stillness, presenting and clarifying the current area of need. Then Graham suggests we pose a wonderful question, “Ask the Lord to show you what He wants to accomplish in the situation.”
This gets tricky as you are starting out on this type of prayer, because I may not even be able to accomplish getting still, let alone hearing God. But as I keep pressing forth is gets a little clearer each time. (I believe God helps greatly and I try to remember to keep asking for His help.)
Then Graham suggests, “Ask to be shown what is the desire and prayer of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Gather the thoughts and words that God gives you – write them down. Then bring list of thoughts and words to the Lord and ask for further clarification. Write own any further insights. Take these common thoughts and words to the Lord and pray for further clarification. Write down any further insights you receive.
Oh my, I was nervous that I wouldn’t “hear” anything, but thoughts and words started to come as I wrote. The key for me was not to get too “anal.” As long as the thoughts lined up with the Bible, I feel confident I am on the right track.
Then he suggests to enter a place of stillness and craft a prayer that contains the key words and phrases. Seems like a long process but worth it to stick with it. Then take your complete crafted prayer back to the Lord for clarification and move into a time of proclamation.
I felt God showed me Isaiah 61:3 and a rush of joy started to build and build as I studied the verse as well and turned it into a proclamation.
After I was finished I realized, I wanted to find peace through circumstantial means. But God had a bigger picture in mind and I am truly thankful.