The Beginning of the Rope…

Philippians 4 contains one of the most practical but I fear, underappreciated two verses in the New Testament. Here they are: Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Sometimes we hear phrases, “When all else fails, pray” or “Prayer is a last resort”. Or absent the phrases we seem to think of prayer as something to “do” when things are not going well.   God’s idea of prayer is so much more encompassing than the prayer of last resort. God desires that prayer be a “first resort” or that prayer happens at the beginning of our rope. God desires us to be in prayer and conversation with Him about all aspects and areas of our lives and He PROMISES that His peace will guard our hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. When we make prayer a priority in our lives, we have the opportunity to see things from God’s perspective and have His peace regardless of the way a situation or circumstance turns out. In my life, if I think of prayer as only asking God to take away a bad situation, most of the times those prayers don’t “work”…the bad situation doesn’t go away. Prayer is intended to be a running conversation that we have with God. And one of the real and tangible benefits of this running conversation is peace.

Let’s get practical for just a second. If you struggle with prayer let me give you two quick suggestions. First, go to the Psalms in the Old Testament. Read one or two verses and let those words wash over you…talk them back to God…give God 15 minutes of your day, without thinking of anything or anyone that He doesn’t bring to your mind. Second, find a bible app like Bible Gateway. Bible Gateway sends out a “verse of the day” which I have used occasionally to jump start my prayer time. Read that verse…meditate on it…you will quickly see that there will be a “conversation” that you will have with God. So let’s think of prayer as something at the beginning of the rope, not the end of the rope.

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