Theme of the Week: New Beginnings
Bible Verse: Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6–7 NIV
Scripture Reading: John 16:23–24; Ephesians 6:18; Philippians 4:6-7; 1 Thessalonians 5:17; James 5:15–18
Prayer is communication with God, your Heavenly Father. Our prayers today are the glad reception of a personal invite Jesus sent out long ago. Because of Jesus, we have a loving, working relationship with our Father that allows us to approach Him anytime about anything.
Jesus paid a steep price to give us this connection with God. So, you would think all Christians everywhere would be taking advantage of this wonderful opportunity called prayer, right? You would think that. But honestly, many of us go hours and even days or weeks and never approach God. We just struggle with our issues and anxieties alone.
Prayer is the victorious replacement for Christian worry. If you can worry about it, you can pray about it. Learning to pray is a vital spiritual discipline that you need in your life asap. Pray first, don’t wait until later. The habit of prayer can become the first part of your day plus the first thing you do when life gets difficult.
When we pray first, God’s supernatural peace will follow. Trying to attain peace on our own without God is a losing battle. It’s like trying to find the loose end of yarn on your new Christmas sweater. The more you pull, the more everything unravels. God wants you to pray and leave some things up to Him. Let Him work on it and take your hand of the loose yarn.
While we often think of prayer as something private, prayer is also something we do in public – in community with other believers. Something powerful happens when we join with other Christians in corporate prayer. Don’t shy away from a prayer meeting; add your voice and your faith.
When you pray, it’s the best time of your day because you are talking to the One who loves you most, knows you best, and is definitely the most capable. After God, everyone else has their limits as to how much they can do for you. Take advantage of His invitation to pray first.
Prayer: Father, please teach me to pray first. Help me and guide me as I choose time with You in prayer first and not last in my life. Teach me to give all my anxieties and worries to you in prayer instead of bearing the weight of them alone. Then, show me your peace. In Jesus’ name.
Reflection: What do you do first when trouble shows up? Begin practicing prayer first when these moments appear again. The practice of prayer is an ongoing habit that takes time and patience to develop. Don’t give up, just keep going back to God in prayer until it starts becoming the first thing you do, and not the last.
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