Prayer: Ask God Specific Questions


Pastor Rick Warren shares two ways to receive a mental image from God, even if you're not a visual thinker.

“I will stand at my watch and station myself on the ramparts; I will look to see what he will say to me.” (Habakkuk 2:1 NIV)

While you’re waiting for God to speak to you, you need to be ready for God to give you a mental picture. Habakkuk 2:1 says, “I will stand at my watch and station myself on the ramparts; I will look to see what he will say to me” (NIV).

Why does he say “look to see”? Doesn’t it make more sense to say he will “listen to” what God says?

God’s voice is often visual. Sometimes God speaks to you by putting a mental picture or image in your mind. Some of you may think, “That’s kind of weird — God putting a picture in my mind.” If NASA can receive pictures from Mars, don’t you think God can put a picture in your mind? Of course he can.

So how do you look for a mental image from God if you’re not a visual thinker? Here are two ways that help me:

1. Ask God a specific question. James 1:5-6 says, “If you want to know what God wants you to do, ask him, and he will gladly tell you, for he is always ready to give a bountiful supply of wisdom to all who ask him …. But when you ask him, be sure that you really expect him to tell you” (TLB). Those verses tell us three truths.

First, God wants you to ask him for advice. You’re not bothering him. He’s interested in every detail of your life, and he’s waiting for you to ask.

Second, the more specific you are, the better, because it builds your faith when you ask God for something specific and then he answers. Don’t be general in your prayers.

Third, God wants you to expect an answer. Don’t pray and ask God for help unless you expect that he’s going to help you.

2. Look into God’s Word. After you withdraw and as you’re waiting and watching for the Lord, you need to get into the Bible. I can’t tell you how many times God has taken a verse and, even after I’ve read a passage a hundred times, it suddenly pops out at me, and I see something I’ve never seen before. God uses the Bible to give answers to your specific questions.

The Bible says, “Open my eyes, so that I may see the wonderful truths in your law” (Psalm 119:18 TEV). Ask God to show you new truths and his wisdom as you study his Word and wait on him to speak.

Talk It Over

What is something that you asked God for specifically? How did he respond?

How do you need God to provide for you today? Do you expect him to provide for you?

Why do you think it is so hard for us to wait on the Lord?

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