By Rev. Connie Graham
I am absolutely convinced that prayer is the essential communications network between believers and God. Jesus set the example and standard for prayer, while making it clear that prayer must be a priority in the lives of people. Prayer is the privilege of being able to have dialogue and conversation with God. Additionally, prayer is meant to permeate and saturate every area of our lives. In Luke 18:1, Jesus uses a parable to illustrate for the disciples that they should always pray to avoid giving up during difficult times.
Now Jesus was telling the disciples a parable to make the point that at all times they ought to pray and not give up and lose heart (Luke 18:1, Amplified Bible).
Prayer as described in Philippians 4:6-7 is the prescription for peace. Verse 6 lays out the prescription with three aspects of prayer. Prayer makes nothing and everything the same according to those verses. The believer is told to become anxious about nothing, but to pray about everything. Prayer does not provide the solution. Prayer is the solution.
Pray about it. Whatever it is. Another critical aspect of prayer is that it is to bedone with thanksgiving. The third thing reveals a purpose of prayer as well as finalizes the prescription. Prayer delivers our requests to God. Verse 7 describes something that is simply amazing. When we make our requests known to God, an exchange takes place that is beyond our ability to comprehend.
The peace of God is exchanged for our prayers. The peace of God sets a watch on our hearts and minds. Because we have resolved to worry about nothing and pray about everything with thanksgiving, the peace of God will not allow worry to get through to our hearts or minds. It is interesting that only peace is promised. There is no guarantee that our requests will be granted, but the peace of God through Christ Jesus will guard our hearts and minds.
Pray, Practice, Ponder: O Lord, I come to you asking you to help me right now. I pray that worry does not take over my mind or my heart. I pray for strength to face the challenges of this day. I pray for a kind word for others that I meet. Thank you for all that you have done in my life. I thank you even now as you work in my life. Then, God, I thank you for what you are going to do. I pray that your will be done in my life. In the name of Jesus, Amen.
Rev. Connie Graham is a CBF-endorsed Corporate Chaplain for Community Health Foundation, and Pastor of Victory Baptist Church in Fitzgerald, Ga.This prayer appears in the 2022-2023 edition of Prayers of the People, the annual prayer guide of the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship, edited by Rev. Meg Lacy Vega. Download the digital version or order free print copies of Prayers of the People at www.cbf.net/pray.