Finding Ideas and Solutions

This prayer method helps you find ideas and solutions when you’re solving big problems or doing complex, difficult tasks.  The secret is in creating a daily prayer routine that allows God to work in your mind and spirit throughout the day and night.

How to do this prayer practice:

Capture Jim spruell 21.  Approach your big tasks with prayer.

I worked for 40 years designing, building, and troubleshooting very complex computer control systems.  My biggest project was a $100 million flight simulation Facility that took 12 years to complete!  It took patience, perseverance and a lot of daily work thinking through new ideas to figure out what would work.  Answers seemed to come into my mind, often when I least expected it.  I believe that it was more than answers coming from my mind which kept subconsciously working on unsolved problems.  I believe that I constantly get ideas and solutions from God in answer to prayer.

2.  Start with positive prayers early in the morning.

I try to have a quiet time in the morning after I get up.  I usually read the Daily Guideposts devotional book and then a section of scripture.  Then I pray by first giving thanks and praise to God for all the blessings I have received to this point.  I especially thank Him for the positive things that happened in the last day or two. I then pray for various people who I know that have special needs.

3.  Pray for guidance for your daily tasks and then work with God on your to-do list.

I continue praying by asking for guidance with the various tasks I will be undertaking this day and try to listen for a period of time for answers from God.   After I finish praying I look over and edit my to-do list that I keep on my computer.  Things are listed in priority order along with my schedule. At one time I had up to 100 items!  I now keep this list on my iPhone.  Some days I just glance thru them when I know I have urgent items that I need to do.  Other days I do a good bit of rearrangements, adds, and deletes.

4.  Use quick silent prayers during the day.

As I go through the day I say a lot of quick, silent prayers as I make decisions and interact with people.  Some of these prayers are for me and some for others I interact with during the day.

5.  Be alert for answers anywhere, any time.

During the times I am away from work I never know when God will suddenly send me an idea.  This has happened to me nearly everywhere – in restrooms, waiting rooms, driving a car, in an airliner, even when piloting my own airplane.   I dictate these ideas/answers into my iPhone where I can access them later when I need them.

6.  End the day with thankfulness.

After I go to bed, before I go to sleep, I think through all the good and bad things that have happened and tell God thanks for all the blessing of the day.  During the prayer before I go to sleep I give thanks for all the help God has given me that allowed me to make it through the day and ask him to now allow me to rest thru the night.

7.  Record what God tells you in the night.

I discovered that I have gotten the answer to lots of complex problems/decisions in the middle of the night.  Because getting up and turning on a light to write them down would wake me up too much, I get up and dictate the answer to my iPhone.  If I don’t record the answer/idea that comes to me I can’t go back to sleep nearly as well.

My personal experiences and tips:

One time I am sure God was directing and watching out for me was when I was president of a small company that I formed which provided hardware and software systems to prisons called “Inmate Management System.”  I was alone flying a small rented single engine Mooney airplane with a replacement Data General Minicomputer strapped down on the back seat headed for a prison in Alabama.

A few months earlier I had taken training and received my instrument rating which allowed me to fly IFR (on instruments in clouds).   I had checked the weather and filed an IFR flight plan because there were some storms between Atlanta and my destination of Atmore Alabama.  I talked with the controller when I started getting into clouds and he told me to fly a heading which was a little north of my planned route, until I flew between two thunderstorm cells.

A little latter it quickly got very dark and I unexpectedly entered a storm cell with heavy turbulence, fast up/down drafts, rain and lightning.  There are two possible courses of action when entering bad weather, 180 degree turn back to better conditions, or lower speed and carefully fly thru it.

After the initial panic, calm came over me and I was sure God told me the correct course was not to try a turn in all the turbulence but to keep wings level, keep my eyes inside the aircraft to prevent the lightning from blinding me, control pitch and throttle to keep speed and pitch attitude at best levels to have minimum stress on the airframe.

About that time the controller asked if I was experiencing any turbulence.  For a while I believed the controller let me test the weather cell because when I said “severe turbulence”, he said I was cleared for altitudes from surface to 10,000 feet (he could see my altitude was all over the sky and realized the up/down drafts were more than my aircraft could handle).  He also said that I would be out of the cell in a few minutes.  Then he started vectoring aircraft behind me around the cell I was going through.  I now realize the controllers didn’t have near as good a view of the weather back then as this new IFR pilot thought they did.  After I came thru the cell and saw that all was fine, I said out loud a big “thank you God” prayer.

Tip: Always try to walk with the Lord, but sometimes you have to trust him to carry you.

How to fit this prayer idea into your schedule:

When still working full time I got up about 4:30am for my quiet time, planning, and exercise in the morning before breakfast.  Then I said the quick prayers of “help” and “thanks” all during the day.  I then ended the day with the longer “thank you” prayer before going to sleep.

Now that I am retired and only working on part time projects that don’t have many deadlines, I get up later, work less, and have had time to take several Bible study classes.  However I still start my day with quiet time, quick prayers all day, and say a longer thank you prayer at night.

The Biblical origins and traditional roots of this method of prayer:

Micah 6:8   Oh man what does The Lord require of you?  To act justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God.

James 1:5  If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him.

Proverbs 3:19-22  By wisdom the Lord laid the earth’s foundations, by understanding he set the heavens in place; by his knowledge the deeps were divided, and the clouds let drop the dew.  My son, preserve sound judgment and discernment, do not let them out of your sight; they will be life for you, an ornament to grace your neck.

Proverbs 4:11,13  I guide you in the way of wisdom and lead you along straight paths…Hold on to instruction, do not let it go; guard it well, for it is your life.

Proverbs 9:10  The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.

Proverbs 19:8  He who gets wisdom loves his own soul; he who cherishes understanding prospers.

Other helpful links:

7 essential on the job prayers

Morning workplace prayer

Copyright Jim Spruell 2011