Tuesday, February 3, 2009

You Go, Girl!

Skip Heitzig said, “Our true priorities—the things that are really the most important to us—will show themselves in our prayer life.”

Today, popular author and speaker Thelma Wells drops in at Words to Go to discuss Praying God’s Will.

PATTY: Thelma, thanks for joining us today at Words to Go. We continue in our discussion about prayer this week. Thelma and I met when I was on book tour with Women of Faith. I loved sitting down with her in the green room and hearing her laugh. And sometimes she brought along her gorgeous daughters who performed dance theater. I was very impressed with how close they were to their mother, but also, how devoted to Christ they all were as a family. Thelma is now out speaking all over the country. She’s also promoting her most recent book release, Don’t Give In – God Wants YOU To Win.
Thelma, praying God’s will rather than our will is sometimes easier to say than do. What sort of rearranging have you done in your life that has helped you learn to pray God’s will over your own?

THELMA: My life has been rearranged for me by the disappointments and changes in my life that have taught me to pray the will of God. When I’ve prayed for something I thought I wanted and God did not give it to me, I often got disappointed and questioned if God would really give me the desires my heart as found in Psalm 37.

PATTY: I’ve misinterpreted that scripture for my own devices too. How are we supposed to interpret it, if not for our purposes?

THELMA: After not getting what I wanted, and after the fact of seeing the results of not getting it, I discovered that what I thought I wanted was not good for me in the long run. God knew what I needed and that outweighed what I wanted.

PATTY: I think that we all wrestle with thinking we know what’s best for our life. We’re driven by nature to satisfy longings, etc. So how do we nix all of that, Thelma?

THELMA: As these experiences of not getting what I prayed for or getting a different version of what I prayed for (and, looking back over the possible results of God’s denial) I found a truth that has helped me depend on God to work His will in my life. The truth is that God had my life planned before the foundation of the world. He knows me better than I know myself and He knows all about my life’s circumstances. The Lord has ordered my steps and, if I let Him, He will guide me into all peace, happiness, security and protection. Therefore analyzing and comparing His perfect decisions for me and my often misdirected will for me, I live now more secure to pray the will of God for my life and other’s.

PATTY: Trusting is probably the biggest Body Builder God gives us, Thelma. If we’d all practice it in a unity of spirit, the Body of Christ would soar beyond our wildest imagination.

THELMA: When I settle down and wait on the Lord to do His perfect will, I’ve become less anxious and concerned about the outcome of my prayers. God’s word is sure, “He will keep you in perfect peace when your mind stays on the Lord.”

PATTY: Romans 15:3; We live in a world that tells us “live for yourself,” “decide your own destiny.” But the scriptures seem to teach an opposite theology. Thelma, how have you disciplined yourself to listen to the “counsel of the Lord” rather than the counsel of the world?

THELMA: Discipline is the optimum word because it does take determination, trust, humility and discipline to listen to the counsel of the Lord. Everyday I must get in His presence (most of the time first thing in the morning), even before I get out of bed
rather than listening to the news of the day. I ask Him what my agenda is for the day. Sometimes I don’t hear a thing but I just go about what I have on my plate realizing that it’s His call to change it if He likes. I listen to praise or gospel music to take me into a Throne Room atmosphere in my mind.

PATTY: Neta Jackson discussed this yesterday too.

THELMA: I either read or recite His Word, the Bible and I dress (spiritually) for the battle that can befall me.

PATTY: By that, you mean by putting on the whole armor of God.

THELMA: Yes. All during the day I’m in communication with God praising Him, praying to Him, listening to Him and spiritually pursuing Him for my every moment. Do I slip sometimes and get upset or irritable? Yes. But I’ve asked the Holy Spirit to prompt me when I begin to “worship” myself rather than worshiping the Lord. I ask the Lord to dispatch His ministering angels to protect my mind and guard my heart in every situation. I remember that He said in Isaiah 26:3, that if I keep my mind on Him, He would keep me in perfect peace and in Philippians 4:8 He told me to concentrate on things that are good and perfect. When I’m in need of human counsel I go to my spiritual accountability partner because I can always trust that she will give me the Word of the Lord and not her opinion.

PATTY: It’s so great to know that success has not changed your spiritual habits, Thelma.
We want to thank you for giving us a Word to Go today. Please feel free to leave feedback for Thelma.

Tomorrow, we’ll welcome author and retreat speaker Jan Winebrenner in a discussion on Prayer and Meditation. This is a week of Ask the Experts on Prayer at Words to Go. I pray you’re enjoying the rich discussions.