I am always excited to see what God is doing in the lives of young men who feel called to serve the Lord. It is not a one time decision, or even a monthly responsibility. It is a moment by moment, day by day walk with the Lord. I have asked for our pastoral staff and summer interns to share a devotion from each of them of what God is doing in their lives. I look forward to these next few days. As you read each of these devotions, may it remind you to faithfully pray for each one of these men.
I AM PERSUADED THE HE IS ABLE
TO CREATE IN US AN ATTITUDE OF PRAYER
Philippians 4:6 “Be careful for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.”
When you hear the word prayer, what comes to your mind? Well we often think of prayer as just something we do during devotions, meal time, or even at the end of the day. It is something that applies to our daily schedule, and if we are not careful it can turn into a habit or sadly, it may become a chore. Prayer is much more than that. Here in the book of Philippians, Paul is writing to the church of Philippi about having the joy of the Lord in the Christian life, and in chapter four begins to discuss the peace of God in prayer. At the beginning of the verse it says, “Be careful for nothing” this means do not be anxious or begin to have a habit of worrying. How many times does our prayer life increase from very little to a lot according to how well our lives are going. What Paul is trying to say is that our focus should not be on us, but on God.
In the next part of the verse, the word prayer in its true form is worship and devotion before God. Basically, instead of focusing on our needs for the reason of our prayer, it is focusing on worshipping and getting to know God better personally. The more we spend time worshipping Him, the brighter He becomes to us and reveals areas in our life that need to be corrected. The key to worship is to strengthen ourselves in Christ, to be as effective as we can for Him. Oswald Chambers said, “Worshipping God is the great essential of fitness. If you have not been worshipping…when you get to work you will not only be useless yourself, but a tremendous hindrance to those who are associated with you.” What he is saying is, the less we worship the less we are effective for Him, because He is not our primary focus.
Now, in the next part of the verse it says, “…and supplication with thanksgiving.” Supplication means earnestly pleading, this is giving our request and confessing our sins over to God, but it says with thanksgiving, which is an attitude knowing God will take care of the situation. This is giving over our burdens to God so that we can focus on Him more, just as it says in I Peter 5:7 “Casting all your care upon him; for He careth for you.” God wants us to cast our request and burdens on Him so that we can focus and serve Him better. Paul wrote in Galatians five about walking in the Spirit and not in our own flesh. How often do we try to go through life in our own strength and works which many times lead to failure, but God wants us to walk in the Spirit and that all begins with the right attitude of prayer.
I want to challenge you, how is your attitude of prayer? Are you worshipping Him for how good He is in your life and how he has blessed you? I want to challenge you to later maybe write down at least ten to fifteen things that you could worship and thank Him for that He has blessed you with in your own life. Worship Him and let Him work in your life as you pray to Him.