Chill Out... And PRAY!!!
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.
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BlogFam, as close as I may be to my family and some of my friends, there is no one who knows me better than the one who created me. There is no one who knows more about my passions, my thoughts, my secrets, my desires, my hopes, my dreams, my mistakes, my insecurities, my worries, my concerns, my victories, my accomplishments than my eternal Creator. When I say I tell God EVERYTHING, I mean it. I really do talk to God about every little and big thing going on in my life. Now some of you might think that is way too much to pester the throne of grace about but that is your personal opinion and I respectfully and totally disagree. I figure if God cares enough to count the number of hairs on my head, a detail that just seems so inconsequential – unless, of course, you are balding – well, I just figure if God cares to know that, God must care about every other detail in my life and so I tell God about EVERYTHING! I do not have anyone in my life who knows me in a more intimate way. A few think they have clues and that is what they have – clues based on the conversations I might choose to have or not have with them - but there is no one in this earth that I talk to like I talk to God!
I agree and take very seriously the lyrics of Joseph Scriven in the 1800s when he penned the words -
What a friend we have in Jesus,
all our sins and griefs to bear!
What a privilege to carry
everything to God in prayer!
O what peace we often forfeit,
O what needless pain we bear,
all because we do not carry
everything to God in prayer.
Have we trials and temptations?
Is there trouble anywhere?
We should never be discouraged;
take it to the Lord in prayer.
Can we find a friend so faithful
who will all our sorrows share?
Jesus knows our every weakness;
take it to the Lord in prayer.
Are we weak and heavy laden,
cumbered with a load of care?
Precious Savior, still our refuge;
take it to the Lord in prayer.
Do thy friends despise, forsake thee?
Take it to the Lord in prayer!
In his arms he'll take and shield thee;
thou wilt find a solace there.
I have often jokingly made the comment that I refuse to have bags under my eyes in reference to the stresses of life. In other words, I am very intentional in taking everything to the Lord in prayer and there is really no point in me losing sleep if I trust that God has everything under control! There are some answers that I do not have. There are some problems that I cannot solve. There are some worries that I just may not overcome. But when I give it all to God, when I lay it all on the altar, when I take refuge in the Lord, I can keep the bags away!
Friends, today’s scripture is found in the last part of Paul’s letter to the church at Philippi. He gives a list of statements of advice for life and faith and one thing he says is:
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.
My sistas and brothas, what more can I say? If there is anyone in this universe who can actually handle everything you may be going through or dealing with or fighting for, it is the Lord our God! So, why is it that we choose to be anxious? Why do we choose to be full of mental distress or uneasiness? Why do we choose to be eager and edgy? And the first response I must offer to answer my own questions is this: because of fear of danger or misfortune! We focus on our fears of what might or might not happen instead of trusting that by faith, our God will work everything out for our good! When we focus on our faith, then and only then will we have the PEACE OF GOD which transcends all understanding. And the PEACE OF GOD will also guard our hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.
The protection of God’s peace over our hearts and minds keeps us from bags under our eyes, tires around our waists, ulcers in our systems, headaches, balding, short tempers, and other physical symptoms that manifest because of the internal unrest we are experiencing that may never be expressed to those who think they know us best. THIS is why we must take everything to the Lord in prayer! PRAYER is the absolute key to relieving anxiety.
I have known many prayer warriors throughout my life but one person who has truly modeled for me the priority of prayer is my daddy. For as long as I can remember, my dad has taught me to pray about EVERYTHING and EVERYBODY! And to this day, I can honestly say that prayer is one of the sharpest weapons in my spiritual arsenal.
Yes, I praise and I give and I serve and I preach and I teach but I do not do ANYTHING without praying first!
I agree and I take very seriously Paul’s advice - in EVERY situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And in prayer, I am impressed by the Holy Spirit to move forward, to be still, to wait, to walk away, to pursue with passion, to proceed with caution, to press on through the obstacles. And no, I do not always like the answers I am given through prayer, but I pray about that too. And at the end of the day, I praise God for the blessed assurance I receive through prayer and I pray for a heart of obedience even in those things I do not want to hear from God.
So, my Friends, CHILL OUT! I encourage you to begin to consider Paul’s words of wisdom we have focused on today and I pray that you would at least try prayer. Prayer is simply having a conversation with God – speaking and listening to the Holy One. I pray that you would intensify your prayer life so that our God can intensify the peace you want to experience in your life. I pray that you would not be anxious, but that you would live with great anticipation of hearing from God in God’s time. I pray that you would take EVERY situation to the Lord in prayer, besides, He knows all about it anyway. And if anyone ever tells you that God does not care about something or someone you want to pray about, remind them of this scripture, let them wrestle in their own stress, and you just press your way to the throne!
Twitter - @AudraSunshine or @SpiritedConcept
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