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Things go better when you pray - James C. Bell

Some years ago, I was in Cleveland, Ohio attending a meeting of the National Association of Purchasing Managers. The meeting was in the grand ballroom of the hotel where I was staying.

As I got on the elevator to go down to the meeting, I saw our speaker for the evening chatting with every one on board. I enjoyed hearing him there and knew he was going to be great later on.

It was the late and great, Norman Vincent Peale, a speaker renowned for his book, "The Power of Positive Thinking." He was very friendly and outgoing as he spoke to everyone he met. The wisdom of his famous book also told of how he lived, thinking positively. A philosophy I also try to live by.

How does one learn how to make decisions and solve the difficulties of life? Some say, "I just go by the feelings I have." Others express it this way: "I follow my gut."

Feelings are powerful and have a proper place in our lives, but while feelings may enhance our experiences, they are far too subjective to accurately guide us along life's journeys. What we really need is the wisdom of God, He who knows all and is able to see far into our future.

We need to know the will of God for our lives. Through His Word, God teaches us things we need to know, both for this world and for the world to come. God's will is always in accordance with His Word.

The psalmist understood this connection between solid doctrine and Godly living when he wrote in psalm 119:105, "Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path." Only God's Word, the Holy Bible, is objective and true. It alone can lead us in the pathway of righteousness.

The answer to life's questions is in the knowledge that things will go better when one prays with faith, that is believing in God, in a relaxed and confident attitude. Dr. Peale says, "Simply do all you can and do your best. Then, quietly, leave it all to God." As the old hymn says, "Take your troubles to the Lord and leave them there."

Many Christians pray and tell God their problems and troubles, but they don't leave them there with Him!

Prayer is the process by which you stimulate the deep subconscious insight you possess. I believe this power is accumulated in our minds as we read and study God's Word. We may not be able to quote much of the Bible, but as we read and understand the rich wisdom of God, our subconscious retains it and we can recall this knowledge as we pray and concentrate on God.

If you are a Christian, there is in you now an answer to every problem in your life or to any problem you will ever have. This is true because when one puts his faith in Jesus Christ, He sends the Holy Spirit into our heart to live with us and He has the complete knowledge of God.

To tap this wisdom of God, we should ask the Spirit to guide us and lead us as we pray. If we pray for a new, gold Cadillac or to win the lottery, don't be surprised when it doesn't happen.

But if we pray for a soul to be won, and ask the Holy Spirit to go before us as we witness to that person, I think He will answer us affirmatively.

The more we pray for others and the less we pray for ourselves, the better things will go.

Teach me, Lord and guide me according to your perfect Word.