Day Eight: “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.” (Phil 4:6-7)
I can’t recall exactly when I first heard or memorized these classic verses on prayer but they do bring to mind something specific from my teenage years. During my middle and high school years, my mom was involved in a prayer group called Moms in Touch (now called Moms in Prayer). It was a place where moms came together every week to pray for their kids and their kid’s schools. However, I must say that I was not always the biggest fan of my mom being in this prayer group! I felt like other moms were finding out all about my flaws and issues under the guise of “praying for me.” And, as someone who was always trying to put on a good front before others, this bothered me more than a little.
However, as I grew up and matured in my faith, I began to recognize the power of prayer and was able to look back on this Moms in Touch group with new eyes. That these women were faithful to consistently pray week in and week out for their kids I know had a great influence over the course their children’s lives during this time. And I’m sure that 3 John 1:4 was true for them as well, “I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth.” It might have taken awhile, but I can truly appreciate their dedication to pray for me and know we are bonded in a way that only God can provide. So now, I happily and willingly share my prayer requests for my mom to take to her current prayer group because I have seen and acknowledge that prayer matters.
But what do these verses mean to me personally? Well, first of all let me confess that prayer is one of the spiritual disciplines I struggle with the most in my own life. Do I believe in the power of prayer? Yes. Do I know it is important? Yes. Do I see it working mightily in my life and the lives of others? Yes. Yet, do I do it very often? No! I’m sure this has some deep theological implications for me but the bottom line is that prayer is usually my last resort. That is painful to acknowledge and yet it is also very true for me.
And this probably ties right in with the fact that I am a worrier. That peace of God which transcends all understanding? Well, I don’t feel that all too often. I can feel content and at peace with a situation but that is usually after I have exhausted all my other options and finally turned it over to God in prayer. Yet, we are commanded in Romans 12:12, “Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.” So, while I can quote verses on prayer with best of them, I still have a long way to go towards applying them to my own life.
“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.” (Phil 4:6-7)