At the risk of losing you before we get started, I confess that I am old enough to remember the days when we only had three television channels. No cable, dish, subscription, streaming or anything else. Three choices – take it or leave it. That is almost impossible to comprehend given the ever-expanding options available today. How did we ever live like that?
Today my provider has four packages available for me to select from – Basic, Extended, Premium, and Platinum.
During my recent concentration on improving my prayer life, it occurred to me that all of us have the option of selecting our own prayer package. We get to choose whether to live our lives restricted to the Basic Package or to upgrade along the way.
THE CHOICE IS YoURS:
Unfortunately, many of us never move past the Basic Package of prayer. We just seem satisfied without ever realizing what all we are missing.
The Basic Package is pretty much one-way communication. We do almost all the talking and rarely ever entertain the thought of listening. Its goal is usually just to invoke God to do something on behalf of ourselves or others. It rarely offers much in the way of genuine praise. Thanksgiving is relatively minor. Mostly it is just asking.
It carries a weak signal, and reception is often less then desirable. Not a very satisfying experience to say the least.
But it’s our choice if that is all we are interested in.
Hopefully at some point, we recognize the value of the Extended Package and upgrade our plan.
We realize that prayer should be more than just asking. We begin to understand that prayer is also an avenue for praise, confession, and thanksgiving. We don’t give up the asking; we just add in the other stuff. We still do most of the talking, but at least our talking is showing honor to God instead of only focusing on what we can get from him.
It is only reasonable that the Extended Package will have a stronger signal and improved reception. Our satisfaction with this package promises to be superior to the Basic Package. Once we try the Extended Package, it will be hard to imagine ever going back.
To be honest, I think this package is the best seller in the lineup. Many Christians are content to stay right here
And that is a shame because there is so much more.
There is a big step up from the Extended Package to the Premium Package. This one packs a powerful punch. The benefits are amazing. We can experience God here in a way that we never imagined before.
Instead of only talking to God, we can have the amazing experience of two- way communication with him. Imagine that: an actual conversation with the God of the universe!
Is that even possible?
But isn’t that weird?
How do I do that?
I think it probably looks a little different for us all. But my experience has been that I devote a portion of my prayer time to asking God what he wants me to know about a situation, a person, the coming day, or whatever. Then I quieten my mind and earnestly listen for some answer in my spirit, some thought that God brings to my mind. For me, the revelation often has the sensation of a light bulb coming on in my mind.
See, I told you it was weird.
I promise that the first time you genuinely experience this, you will be in awe. I have had two such experiences recently that were so remarkable that I cannot even begin to describe them here. This package takes experiencing God to an entirely new level. It truly is the Premium experience!
But before you sign up for this package, be sure to read the disclaimer. Don’t expect the benefits of this package without a true relationship with Christ. If you are unsure of that relationship, seek help with that first or you will be completely frustrated with even giving this package a trial run.
So, what could be better than the Premium package?
In fact, up until a couple of weeks ago, I did not even realize that the Platinum Package existed. I never signed up for it, but I guess that I got automatically upgraded. I didn’t deserve it, so it must have been a gift of some kind. Whatever it was, I’m grateful.
Let me try to explain.
In my prayer time on that Sunday evening, I was focused on the rioting and chaos going on in our country and was seeking any revelation possible from God on whether there was anything that I as an individual could do to make any difference.
I must have sat about fifteen minutes just waiting and seeking an answer. Suddenly out of nowhere that light bulb feeling popped on and I felt an unmistakable instruction to reach out to a person that I had never heard of before and make a specific offer of assistance to whatever he was doing. I had never so much as heard that person’s name before that moment. I had no idea of what he was doing.
God, are you sure about this?
That person turned out to be a pastor serving in one of the harder hit areas of Minneapolis – the epicenter of the destruction. His mission is to reach out into that community and bring Christ into the chaos. His work is to make a difference in the lives in that area.
That’s pretty cool God, but Minneapolis is a long way off. Are you really sure that I am supposed to do this?
I followed through on the instruction to contact him the next day and found out that this pastor had been praying earnestly for financial support to help him proceed with his mission under these extreme circumstances. The specific instruction that I had felt the night before was to provide a financial gift to him.
OK God, do you realize that I had never heard of this man until last night?
Do you see what had happened? God had connected this pastor’s prayer to my prayer. He had supernaturally allowed me the blessing of being used as an answer to prayer. God had provided an answer to my prayer. He had answered the pastor’s prayer.
Incredibly I had been used as an answer to a prayer that I didn’t even know existed. That was one of the most remarkable moments that I have ever experienced. To say that I was awed would be a huge understatement.
Talk about a Platinum experience!
I have no idea why God allowed me this experience. I do not know if He will ever grant me this blessing again. I only know that I am awed and grateful beyond words this time.
I wish that I knew how to coach you on exactly how to have that experience. I wish I could show you how to sign up for that package. But I don’t even know how to do that for myself.
I can only offer some suggestions that have been of help to me:
1. Set aside dedicated time for prayer.
2. Seek God’s heart for whatever is on your mind by asking him to reveal that to you.
3. Then quieten your mind and listen.
4. Don’t give up on getting an answer too quickly.
5. Commit to be available and obedient whenever an answer comes.
6. Stay committed to the Premium package
7. Let God know that you are interested in a Platinum upgrade
There is continually more and more of God to be experienced in bigger, bolder, and better ways. We do not have to stay stuck in the days of limited prayer and limited benefits.
Upgrades are available. Sign up today!