Have you been in a situation, maybe in one of those precarious places, that you just don’t feel safe. Perhaps you find yourself in a side alley in an unfamiliar town or on intimidating street in in another country or even some place locally that you’ve never been and you feel uneasy?
Life can feel that way sometimes too, can’t it? We face things we don’t know how we will overcome. We are confronted with challenges that are new territory for us. Perhaps we lost a job or a relationship or even lost a loved one to a sickness or a tragedy. And we think, “how can I make it through this?
There are other times when it seems like all of hell is fighting against us. We encounter attacks, setbacks, and threats on every side. People we thought we could trust stab us in the back. A situation we were comfortable with is ripped out of our hands. We sense as if the enemy is breathing down our back waiting for the right moment to destroy us.
“6 do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6,7 ESV
Paul says, “don’t worry about it!” And remember he is writing this from a jail cell. It is as if he is texting us from the cell next to us saying, “don’t give up God’s got our back!” His encouragement to us is to share our situation with God - by prayer, supplication, and thanksgiving. Now, it is important to understand that Paul is not meaning a general ‘bedtime’ prayer. Supplication in this verse means, “heart-felt petition” or praying about a specific felt need. God responds when you express your heart intimately, with authenticity.
Sure, there are moments that you don’t time to go down your ‘list’ and like Peter sinking in the water, we need to cry, “Lord, help me!” But in the ‘seasons’ of battle, we need to go to God with specific petitions.
BUT, JUST PRAYING ISN’T ENOUGH.
We must redirect our focus away from the need to the Prince of Peace!
“God, I need you to heal my daugther. Thank you that you are ‘Jehovah-Rophe’ the God our healer.”
“God, I declare that you will provide the $135 for my utility bill before they cut my lights off. I am grateful for my home and I am thankful that you own the electric company!”
Do you see the difference? Don’t end your prayer focused on the need. Always end focused squarely on the One who has power to take care of the situation. Don’t let your need overwhelm His lead.
When you do this, there is a promise given. The peace of God will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. You may not see the answer right away but you will have the guarantee that His peace will walk with you through the storm. The test may not pass quickly but you will pass the test.
Today’s Challenge is to practice added thanksgiving, praise and gratitude to the end of every prayer. Go ahead and write down one right now to get your started:
Don’t let your need overwhelm His lead.