Sunday, January 29, 2012

First Things First..Lets Pray

How many times have we been at an intersection in life that has us at a road block and we don't know which way to turn? How many times has a trial come along out of the blue and there is nothing we can do to fix it or change it? Do you know what we say to ourselves and even to others? "Well, all I know to do is pray." We might even say, "I wish there were more I could do for you." Really? As a Christian, as a woman of faith, should this be our response? Shouldn't we say instead, "Let's pray, dear friend", or share with that person calling upon us, "The first thing we need to do is pray and then let's listen for God's whisper."

Why is it that we say, "Gosh, I just don't know what else to do but pray"? Shouldn't that be our first response to every situation in our life? You know, something I am realizing is that if we are so totally focused on Christ, we don't even have to ponder good or evil. With the Holy Spirit living in us and with us following Him we are going to always do good. Evil will not come from our lips or our actions. When we are so caught up in Christ, He is the first person we go to not just in our times of trial, but in our times of joy.

From Him springs life, love and joy. From this world springs death, hate and sadness. So which should we be focused on? My mom listens to a scanner all day. She has this little contraption on all the time. So, she is hearing everything that goes on throughout town. She hears the sirens go off and if her scanner isn't on she is on the move to turn that puppy on as fast as she can. First thing of the morning she goes and turns the news on and has her coffee. Now ya all, when I'm having coffee the last thing I want to be watching is the news. But in this state of mind, my mom finds herself worrying and always thinking the worst is about to happen. This is her focus.

But just what if she woke each morning with her Bible in hand along with her cup of coffee? What if she turned that scanner off for a bit and opened up the shades to let the light in and scatter across her living room? Her focus wouldn't be so distraught every time she heard a siren go off. She might even have herself a giggle and smile more often. Instead of focusing on the bad of the day or what could happen, she could change her focus and live in total hope. It's in the hope she could find peace that when she heard that siren go off, she would know that no matter what, her family or not, God is in control.

It just seems like prayer is our last resort. We talk it over and think of ways we can fix it. Well, if your a fixer like me, you know that stepping in isn't always the best thing to do. In fact, it can make issues much worse. There are times we cannot change what is going on in our life and in the life of those we love. What better way to approach a trial than to be in prayer?

The best way to fight our battles and our fears is on our knees. When good comes into our lives we need to be shouting praise. It shouldn't be any different when trial comes into our lives. We stand and shout at God and say, "Why? Why me, God? Why did You let this happen?" Just maybe we need to be in praise for those trials, as hard as it may be, God still has something in store. Everything that touches our life goes through His hand first. That should give us comfort. It should give us the peace we need at night as we lay our head down to sleep to rest in His mercy. He is there when watching over us as we sleep. Do we really believe He would leave us uncovered by His protection and grace? I think at times we do.

We begin to have the attitude that we aren't good enough to have a relationship with Christ and who are we for Him to really listen to us? If you believe in Christ, my friend, you are a Child of the King of kings, Lord of lords. There is nothing impossible for Him. There is nothing too big for Him to handle. He loves us and wants to have an intimate relationship with us.

He is always trying to get our attention. In our busy lives we continue to push Him away. That's why when trial comes we don't think to pray first and we often get to the point of, "Well, I don't know what else to do, so I will pray." Friends, we must pray first. When we are in prayer we are all about Him. When we are in fix it mode we are all about us. So why not pray to the One who can fix it? Now, is He going to fix it according to our wishes? Probably not. He has our best interests at heart and He knows exactly how the problem needs attention. Sometimes it isn't the problem that needs fixed, but us. Sometimes it our lack of faith that is the very problem.

We must learn to change our attitude and trust Him completely with every aspect of our lives. Not just the parts we want to give Him. Not just the pieces we don't know what to do with, but everything. See, when my mom turns that scanner on, she's only hearing one side of the story. She doesn't know what happened first or what is about to happen next. She doesn't have the whole story so that she can fully understand. God has the full story. He has the wide screen before Him. He sees not only the right now, but what has led up to this moment and what will happen ten years from now because of this very moment.

Pray. Pray. Pray. It's His will we are after. Let us set aside ourselves and lets lay our fears down at the foot of the cross and give it all to Him and simply pray. He will answer. In His perfect time He will answer and He will complete what He has begun. Don't lose hope. Don't lose sight of the big picture, because there is much more to the story than you are seeing. So just simply go to Him in prayer.

"First of all, then, I urge that entreaties and prayers, petitions and thanksgivings, be made on behalf of all men, for kings and all who are in authority, so that we may lead a tranquil and quite life in all godliness and dignity. This is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God, and one mediator also between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave Himself as a ransom for all, the testimony given at the proper time. For this I was appointed a preacher and an apostle (I am telling the truth, I am not lying) as a teacher of the Gentiles in faith and truth. Therefore I want the men in every place to pray, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and dissension."
1 Timothy 2:1-8

"Therefore I say to you, all things for which you pray and ask, believe that you have received them, and they will be granted to you."
Mark 11:24

"This is the confidence which we have before Him, that, if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. and if we know that He hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests which we have asked from Him."
1 John 5:14-15

"…The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective"
James 5:16

"Rejoice always; pray without ceasing; in everything give thanks; for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus."
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

"Rejoice in the Lord always; and again I will say, rejoice! Let your gentle spirit be known to all men. The Lord is near. 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."
Philippians 4:4-7
  
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