God waits for you to be definite in your praying, specific.
Alright thank you very much, and hello again radio friends. How in the world are you? So glad to be back with you. This is your good friend, Dr. Cook, and we share together don’t we, you and I, from the Word of God. Whether you’re driving to work or just waking up, sitting around the breakfast table, or just finishing the day because I some of you hear it close to the midnight hour, don’t you? Whatever is happening in your life, I want you to know that it’s my joy to share something from the Word of God, try to put a handle on it so that you can get hold of it for yourself.
We’re hitting high spots in the, in the book of the Philippians and we, we just took a look at chapter 4 where Paul says, “Stand fast in the Lord”. How do you stand fast in the Lord? You commit your life to Him, you let Him give you one heartedness with other believers, you specialize in the help that He can render to others through you, you learn the secret of joy in spite of circumstances, and then you take care to have a life that is consistent, and that has balance. That was verse five, “Let your moderation be known unto all men, the Lord is at hand”. Two reasons. One; people watch you and God watches.
Now he says, “Be care filled for nothing”, that’s our word worried, be worried for nothing, “but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known unto God”. Pray about everything. How do you stand fast in the Lord? Pray about everything. Worry, I think I got this concept from a book by Dale Carnegie years ago. He says, “Worry is the absence of an organized plan. When you haven’t thought through the problem and you don’t know what you’re going to do next then you worry.” Well that is true. I’ve found oftentimes, if I just sit down and say now, “What is it that bothers me and what, what one thing could I do about it?”, there’s always a first step you can take to remedy a situation.
Worry is the absence of an organized plan, but there’s something far deeper than that. Worry, for a believer, is the absence of true commitment of the situation as it is to the Lord. Many of us wait with the unspoken thought that well, we’ll fix things up and then we’ll trust the Lord and on. We try in our poor bungling way to fix it first, but you need the Master, you need the Master to take charge. Worry for the believer is not only the absence of an organized plan, the, the absence of having thought a thing through, but worry is the absence of real commitment to the One who can make a difference. And so, this is what Paul is saying, “Don’t worry about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known unto God”. It doesn’t do any good to say “don’t worry” because that doesn’t stop you from worrying. But, if you take the solid step of praying about things, you’ll find that it diffuses the worry in your heart and mind. Why? Because you are now enlisting the guidance and control of the One who knows the answers.
When I first began to work on cars, I was still in high school, senior in high school I guess, living in East Toledo, and I began to work on the only the only car I had to work on at the time which was the 1921 Model T, two door, sedan. Do any of you old timers remember that, that two door sedan? The doors were in the middle of the body. You got in the middle and you went forward to get to the driver’s seat and you went backwards to get to the back seat. You remember that? It had a fiber top and this one that, that I had coaxed and cajoled and conspired to get my father to buy for a few dollars, this 1921 Model T sedan had a fiber top that had been left out in the rain too long and it had waves in it.
But it was an elegant, old bus because somebody thoughtfully had put some flower vases inside of it, one on either side of the door entrance. Little cut glass flower vases and someone had installed extra springs on the ends of the elliptical leaf springs that those Ford’s had in those days. You old timers of course, remember this and the rest of you, I guess will have to take a nap until I get done with it. Of course, you don’t understand. The Ford in those days had a, had one spring, a leaf spring in front and another one in back and that, that elliptical spring was fastened to the axel. Well, it made the, the automobile ride rather roughly, to say it gently, and so the person who had owned this car before had bought an add on spring, it was a coil spring that you put on the end, each end of the standard spring and that acted as a, as a softener, so to speak, for the bumps. And it did, it did ride very well. Well, I said, “I’m going to overhaul this Pop”. He said, “Alright, boy”. So I began, I took it apart.
Now, I had sense enough to take it apart seriatim we say, I had a bunch of coffee cans numbered, and so I took it apart by number, and put the different pieces in these numbered coffee cans in the order in which I took them off so that I would know how to put it back together again. Well, it went alright when I was taking it apart, but then to put it back together again I got into trouble, and the harder I worked, the worse it seemed to get. I finally got the thing back in some semblance of order, but it wouldn’t start, and so I had to have some help.
The only person I knew to help me was a man named Walter Davis who was a friend of the family, and man, I would suppose then, in his 60’s, and so I looked him up. It was maybe a mile or mile and a half down the street from where we lived, Nevada Street, many of you Toledo people know where that is, don’t you? So I went down to the, the foot of that street and found him there at his house, and he was sitting in a chair, propped up against the side of the house, in his old Levi’s, and no shirt, just underwear. His winter underwear. He still had his winter underwear on. It was a hot day. And there he sat. I said, “Walter, I’m in trouble. I can’t make this, I can’t make this Ford go. I’ve been working on it. Would you please help me”? And he thought a minute, looked at me and smiled, he said, “Well, Robert”, he says, “I’ll go”, but he says, “I’m not gonna put on one more piece of clothes”. I laughed inside and said, dear man, he’s in his heavy winter underwear and it’s a hot day. I guess he doesn’t want to put anything more on.
So he got in his old car and me with him and we drove up the street, made the left turn on, on the little side street where the rented garage was where I had this old Ford. And he said, “Now, let’s see”, and he began to twist this and fix that and turn the other. By and by he said, “Now”, he said, “see if it’ll start”. And I stepped on the starter, and oh wonderful sound. Have you ever heard a Model T when it’s running right? Have you ever heard it idle, it has sort of a chuffa, chuffa, chuffa, chuffa sound. You know, sort of an asthmatic cough. Remember that? Well, see, I had to have some help. It’s that simple. You try and you try and you worry and you worry, and nothing works right, until you get the Master on the job.
“Call unto Me”, says the Lord in Jeremiah 33, “Call unto Me and I will answer thee and show thee great and mighty things which thou knowest not”. The surprises of God are delightful. “Great and mighty things which thou knowest not”. How God loves to teach you new things if you just ask Him. Don’t worry about anything. How do you stand fast in the Lord? Learn to pray about everything. Learn to pray about everything. Pray your way through the day. I used to say to my young people at the college, “Pray your way through the day”. Learn to pray about everything.
Now, how do you do your praying? He says, “Everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known”. Prayer is worship. Supplication is, is bringing your need to the Lord. Thanksgiving is receiving it by faith, and requests means be definite. You know it’s Alright to say, “Lord bless me”. The Bible is full of references to the blessing of the Lord. It’s Alright to pray that, but if you want a get somewhere with God you better be specific. It’d be like going to the grocery and say, Oh, grocery man give me groceries”. Well which groceries? Often times you, you come to God and say, “Lord bless me”. Well He might very well be asking you, “How do you want Me to bless you? What do you want Me to do”?
Our Lord Jesus approached some needy people who were crying out for help, they were blind men, member that story in the, in the Gospels? Blind men. They were crying, “Jesus, son of David, have mercy”. Crying out for help. He came and He said, “What do you want me to do for you”? Now, He knew they were blind. He knew they were crying for help, shouting out. He knew they wanted His attention and His help. He knew all that. Why did He have to ask? He wanted them to say,” Lord that we might receive our sight”. “Ask what I shall do for thee”, came the request to Solomon. “Ask me concerning my sons and concerning the works of my hands, command ye me”, God says through the prophet. God waits for you to be definite. Have you learned that lesson yet beloved? God waits for you to be definite in your praying, specific.
There was a missionary, a Christian Missionary Alliance missionary, who was talking one day in my hearing, shortly after the close of World War II. He was talking about the fact that when war broke out he was out in the South Pacific somewhere and was evacuated and started home on an old rusty freighter, which made its way, precariously, through the submarine infested waters. He said, “One day they saw the spume of foam that the periscope of a submarine makes when it plows through the waters”, and they knew that an enemy sub was watching them, and they thought that maybe this was their last and they would be sunk. He said, “You know I thought I knew how to pray before”, but he said, “I learned to pray specifically in those hours”, he said, “While that sub was watching us”, he said, “We prayed, ‘Lord turn them away, Lord jam his rudders, Lord jam his torpedo tubes, Lord stop his motor’, we prayed about everything”, he said. Well the submarine turned away finally, there was no torpedo fired, and the boat wasn’t sunk and they did get home.
Specific praying. Do you know anything about specific praying? Let your requests be made known to God. Now, worship first, then supplication, that means tell God what you need. Thanksgiving, that means receive it by faith. Jesus said, “Whatsoever ye desire when you pray, believe that ye receive and ye shall have”. Thanksgiving means receiving it by faith and then requests, is a reminder that God wants to know what it is you really want.
Many of us are looking for a better feeling about things and we, we wrap that up in the idea of being blessed, “Lord bless me.” That means I want to feel happier. We would be far smarter if we’d make a list of things. Do you have a prayer list? Make a list of things and talk with your heavenly father about them, specifically, one after another. “Stand fast in the Lord”, means pray specifically about everything.
Dear Father today, may we be standing fast in our Lord, praying our way through the day, victorious because of His answers, in Jesus’ name I ask this, Amen.
Till I meet you once again by way of radio, walk with the King today and be a blessing!
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