“For God is at work within you, helping you want to obey him. And then helping you do what He wants” (Philippians 2:13)
The day I found this promise in the Bible I was very excited. I was beginning to understand that I didn’t have to change myself. God would change me, and this verse confirmed it. He would even help me want to change. Being a determined person, I could be a problem if Christ wasn’t in control of my life, but God would work in me to change me. What freedom and relief that spiritual principle was to me!
The Holy Spirit was beginning to convict me about being grumpy in the morning. For years I had rationalized that I was just born that way — I wasn’t a morning person, and I had inherited this temperament from my father and grandmother. I didn’t want to speak to anyone until after 10:00 a.m., and I preferred that no one spoke to me.
The Holy Spirit showed me that His power was not limited to after ten in the morning, and that I was having a negative influence on our four school-aged children and my husband Marvin. So I claimed the promise in Philippians 2:13 and prayed something like this: “God you are the God of flesh. All things are possible with You. Please change me into a cheerful person in the morning.”
Within three months, my husband Marvin noticed the difference in me. He said, “I sure appreciate your being cheerful in the morning.” I realized that praying specifically really works.
I still don’t bounce out of bed in the morning like my husband does. I like to wake up slowly. But before I get out of bed, I focus on the Lord and ask Him to control and direct my life. What a difference praying specifically has made.
Father, thank You for giving us Your Word and the Holy Spirit who opens our mind to understand it and empowers us to change. Help us to remember to ask specifically. Amen.