“Therefore I want the men everywhere to pray, lifting up holy hands without anger or disputing.”
– (1 Timothy 2:8) In Bill’s new book, Simple Skills for Every Man:
Success in Relationships, Work and Walk with God, he shares the true
secret of success in life and love, including talking with the God who
During my years as a lead pastor, I looked for ways
to help men shine. I believe men have everything they need inside to be
successful in their purpose and influential in their families. I also
find many men get bored with prayer. The main reason is that we don’t
know how to listen to God in prayer.
inventor of risk will look at prayer as an adventure rather than a
boring duty. So, how do we learn to listen to the God who created us as
Listening Skill: God, you go first.
men feel their minds wander when they try to pray. Periodically, begin
your time of prayer with the statement, “God, you go first today.” Then
assume any thought that comes to mind is something God wants to talk
with you about. Don’t worry about whether the thoughts are positive,
negative or neutral.
I fought this for a long time. I would set
aside time to pray and then I would get flooded with thoughts that were
ugly, dark and focused on areas of my life I wanted to ignore. I assumed
this was Satan or his cadre of demons trying to distract me from
praying as I should. Then I became a dad. I noticed that when my kids
approached me, I was eager to bring up issues I knew were holding them
back that they were trying to ignore. I started a habit with them that
went something like this:
“Dad, can I talk with you?”
“Sure, I’d love to.”
“Can I spend go to dinner at my friend Bob’s Friday?”
I’ve noticed you have been lazy about cleaning your room lately and
you’ve been mean to your brothers. Are you going to act that way at
“No, dad. I wouldn’t do that.”
“Is there a reason you act that way at our house but wouldn’t act that way at their house?”
see your point dad. I am sorry and I will work hard this week at being
better at home. If I do that, would it be okay if I go to Bob’s?”
“If you follow through, I don’t see a problem.”
is a much better Dad than I am. If I can figure out as a dad that there
are issues I need to bring up with my kids, certainly God wants to
bring up issues with us. It makes sense then to willingly open ourselves
up to the process.
Once you pray, “God you go first,” use the
thoughts that come to mind to form points of conversation with God.
Confess the sins that come to mind. Talk over the decisions that
confront you. Admit to the fears that are holding you back. Agonize over
the people you love who have real needs. Celebrate the victories.
Report the areas that make you angry. Let every thought become a reason
to talk with God as it gives God the opportunity to be in charge of your
prayer time. Keep this going until things go silent. At that point, you
can bring up whatever you would like and see where that conversation
By letting God go first, you forge a friendship with the powerful God
who created you and wants the best for you and you are giving Him
permission to speak wisdom into your life.
[written by Pam and Bill Farrel]