Friday, January 18, 2008

Thank God

James E. Bibbons was quoted as saying, "If a matter is not serious enough to pray about, then it is not serious enough to worry about - and if it is serious enough to pray about, and we have prayed about it, then there is no need to worry about it."

When I was little and had a nightmare, I would lay paralyzed in my bed and yell for my mom or dad to come rescue me. I guess I was too afraid of the ankle monster that lived under my bed to try and make the dash to their room. Once they came in, turned on the light and listened to what my dream was about, I was able to settle back down and get to sleep. Most times, unless I was really sick, I would never have the bad dream again.

When I think about all the problems people face and the worries that keep them up at night, I have to ask if they've prayed about it. Sometimes they'd say that God has enough on his plate to deal with. (That would be like saying that you never talked to your father because you figured he had enough on his plate what with work and bills. That's another blog.)

Sometimes they'll answer, "Yes, I was up all night on my knees, petitioning God, begging for Him to take care of it." And yet, there is still no peace and the worry lines grow deeper in their brows.
Looking at Phlippians 4:6-7, Paul exhorts the church to "be anxious for nothing"--don't worry. Easier said than done. Then he instructs them how to do that. "in everything by prayer and supplication"...ok, we're doing that too. "...with thanksgiving..." Ah HA! Did you notice that word--thanksgiving. Sure you can pray and petition, beg and bargain but to pray like it's already done and thank God for it? Now that's a trip of faith, isn't it?

Now look at the rest of the verse...there's a condition that goes hand in hand when you pray "with thanksgiving". Check it out, "And the peace of God...will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus." There's the reward my friend, peace of mind. You want to sleep at night but your worries are building nightmares in your bedroom? Praying with thanksgiving is a flashlight to those dark corners of worry. When you pray, thank God like He's already accomplished the job. Most times He already has, we just don't know about it yet.

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 comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Phil 4:6-7

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