Daily Lent Devotional #39 (4/16/2011)

Today’s Topic:   “Praying and Depending on God”

Philippians 4: 4-7  (Contemporary English Version)

4“Always be glad because of the Lord! I will say it again: Be glad. 5Always be gentle with others. The Lord will soon be here.

6Don’t worry about anything, but pray about everything. With thankful hearts offer up your prayers and requests to God.

7Then, because you belong to Christ Jesus, God will bless you with peace that no one can completely understand. And this peace will control the way you think and feel.”

Many of the promises and commands in The Bible provide immeasurable comfort and inspiration for life, while others may seem flat-out impossible to us.  As a counselor, I worked regularly with children, youth, and adults who struggle with anxiety.  Despite living in one of the most blessed and safest nations on Earth; Americans are riddled with anxiety.  This can become a family heirloom that gets passed down the Family Tree forever, if nothing intervenes.

Telling someone who struggles with anxiety to “worry about nothing” and to instead “pray about everything” can seem a little harsh and unrealistic.  Two truths that have helped me immensely with passages like this one are:

God never commands us to behave in a certain way if we couldn’t do it; and God never tells us to do something hard without Him.

Every commanded action and every blessed promise of Scripture is stamped with His loving presence and sustaining grace.  He just asks us to trust fully in Him as He continues His work in us (which is for our good.)

I’ll conclude today’s devotional with a great quote from author Henri Nouwen; as he shares about the incredible importance of praying and depending on God daily.  May it bless you today!

Prayer is in many ways the criterion of Christian life. Prayer requires that we stand in God’s presence with open hands, naked and vulnerable, proclaiming to ourselves and to others that without God we can do nothing. This is difficult in a climate where the predominant counsel is ‘Do your best and God will do the rest.’ When life is divided into ‘our best’ and ‘God’s rest,’ we have turned prayer into a last resort to be used only when all our own resources are depleted. Then even the Lord has become the victim of our impatience. Discipleship does not mean to use God when we can no longer function ourselves. On the contrary, it means to recognize that we can do nothing at all, but that God can do everything through us. As disciples, we find not some but all of our strength, hope, courage, and confidence in God. Therefore, prayer must be our first concern.

Blessings,

Pastor Josh

Published in: on April 16, 2011 at 6:00 AM  Leave a Comment  
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