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Weekly Wisdoms for the week of November 13, 2006

Listen to your prayers, because they locate your level of spiritual maturity.

What are you praying for? Are you asking God to give you more stuff--a bigger house, a new car, a bigger salary? What you pray for indicates what is important to you.

It is a great lesson to examine what the people in the Bible prayed for.

King David, in Psalm 27:4, prayed, One thing I ask of the LORD, this is what I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the LORD and to seek him in his temple. He asked God for just one thing: that he would dwell in God's presence. David clearly knew that in God's presence he would receive everything he needed (see Matthew 6:33).

Paul also didn't pray for worldly things. Instead, in Philippians 1:9, Paul prayed that the church would walk in love: And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more. Paul knew the importance of love, and so he made it a point to pray that the church would grow more and more in love.

Furthermore, he prayed that believers would be strengthened spiritually: I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through His Spirit in your inner being (Ephesians 3:16).

In short, your prayers can tell what you consider to be important. If you are only praying for worldly stuff, then you are neglecting what is of lasting value: knowing God, dwelling in His presence, walking in His love, and being strong spiritually.

Therefore, decide to adjust what you're praying for. Learn to listen to your prayers, because they locate your level of spiritual maturity.

You stand tallest on your knees.

Prayer is powerful. In Matthew 7:7-8, Jesus said, "Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened."

When a child asks his or her parents for something, they will usually do almost anything just to answer the child's request. For example, if a baby starts crying for food, a good parent will drop everything in order to feed the little child.

When you ask your parents for something, they will probably be quite eager to help you. The Bible says that God is our heavenly Father—the best possible father. So, how much more do you think God is looking to answer your prayers?

Therefore, if you need to hear from God, "ask and it will be given to you."

James 5:16 says that "The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective." Then, James gives an example of the power of prayer: "Elijah was a man just like us. He prayed earnestly that it would not rain, and it did not rain on the land for three and a half years. Again he prayed, and the heavens gave rain, and the earth produced its crops" (James 5:17-18). That's amazing power. But what gave Elijah such power? Prayer.

It is no wonder that in Matthew 21:21, Jesus said, "I tell you the truth, if you have faith and do not doubt, not only can you do what was done to the fig tree, but also you can say to this mountain, 'Go, throw yourself into the sea,' and it will be done."

Prayer is powerful. When you have unwavering faith in God, He will answer your prayers. That's why you stand tallest on your knees.