No doubt you have heard before about the Golden Rule: Do unto others as you would have them do to you. (Matthew 7:12) I want to also share with you the power of the Platinum Rule, found in Matthew 7:7: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and it will be opened to you. We have discussed in detail the essentials of planning and preparation. But I would be handing you empty pages if I did not remind you that prayer is the key ingredient to coming up with goal, planning the goal, and reaching the goal. Prayer must permeate our every breath and move. It is indispensable in keeping values on track and goals focused. In fact, it is the greatest resource of power and inspiration ever to be made available to mankind. Nuclear power pales in comparison! Weapons grade plutonium appears weak in contrast to prayer. Prayer holds the key to knowing God and to an ongoing relationship with Him.

Often a person will ask me, "How much do you pray every day?" Prayer is a constant process as natural to me as the air I breathe. I cannot imagine not communing with my Lord all through the day in addition to time set aside for devotions. Go back to the days when Christ walked the earth, leaving us an example for the future of how to live and how to pray. An intimate glance into His prayer life is given to us throughout the Gospels. He prayed:

The prayer of fear and surrender to faith: "He went a little farther and fell on His face, and prayed, saying 'O My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as You will'" (Matt. 26:39).

The prayer of persistence in times of need: "Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you." This is literally translated "keep on asking, keep on seeking, keep on knocking" (Matt. 7:7).

The prayer of gratitude for what God has done and who He is in our lives: "Father, I thank You that You have heard me. And I know that You always hear me" (John 11:41b-42a).

The prayer of an intimate relationship: "But you, when you pray, go into your room, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly" (Matt. 6:6).

The prayer of faith: "Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them" (Mark 11:24). Christ showed us that prayer must be persistent (Luke 11:8); bold (Heb. 4:16); in faith (Mark 11:24); specific (Luke 11:11); and in His name (John 16:23-24).

In the demanding days ahead, you will often be tempted to say, "I just don't have time today for prayer and devotions." This time with God will greatly multiply your effectiveness all through the day and affect the results of all you attempt to do. I had the privilege of being in a room with President George W. Bush as he shared insights into his personal life. One of the most memorable things he told us was that every morning he reads from J. Oswald Chambers along with other Biblical readings. And he spoke about his prayer life and its power in his life. I remember thinking, How can I ever say I dont have time for prayer and devotions when this incredibly busy world leader takes the time every day? John Wesley, used of God to bring about the great awakening of the 1800s, wrote: I have so much to do that I cannot get on without at least four hours of prayer.



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