Wednesday, November 18, 2015

More Thoughts On Prayer: Pray Without Ceasing

With everything that is going on in our lives, I find myself learning more and more about prayer. I will admit, my prayer life is lacking. But lately I have read, studied, listened to songs, and heard sermons preached on the subject of prayer. Maybe it is that this subject is laying heavy on my heart.

Today I thought I would share with you a few more thoughts on prayer.

Philippians 4:6 "Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God."

What do you think of when you hear the word careful? I think of telling my children to be careful when they are climbing on the monkey bars. Or be careful driving in the snow. Or be careful what you say. Those kinds of things.

However, this "careful for nothing" means care free. In other words...don't care about anything! Wow...that will change your perspective! Much like in Matthew 6:25 when Jesus said "Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; or what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment?"

Take no thought! How many times have you heard these statements..."well, at least he cares" or "he don't care about anything"!!! Now, apply Philippians 4:6! Did you see it? Suddenly the positive became a negative and the negative became a positive!

So, how can we shake the care of life? First we must look at the reason it needs to be shaken. Careful comes from the same word as anxious. Now, stay with me, if we are to be careful for nothing, that means we must be anxious for nothing. The key word is nothing! Not anxious over money, comforts, food, homes, or jobs. But if we are going to apply that to our physical lives how much more so should we apply it to our spiritual lives? That means we must not be anxious over holiness, the Bread of Life, our churches and their ministries, converts, and our Christian Service.

This means that our faith must increase. The greater the faith, the deeper the channel; the deeper the channel, the vaster the flood! That the joys of heaven might flood our souls!
Anxiety shrinks faith. If we allow the boulders of anxiety to enter our channels, then the waters do not flow smoothly. And in the words of J.H. Jowett..."If the river of God is full of water, why, then, does it only trickle through our labours?"

How then do we excavate the boulders of care and anxiety?

1) Prayer
* the word prayer in Philippians 4:6 is not speaking of the actual words or petitions spoken in prayer but more about the mood or mind set of the one praying! If we looked at every mood, every posture we make as a prayer what would our petitions be?
Have you ever tried to say something mean while smiling? It doesn't work.  Why? Because our posture is suggesting we are happy and our words that fallow are not. We cannot speak proper petitions until our position is right!

2) Supplication
* After you've corrected your posture, you may now speak. Supplication here is simply that. We are putting our motions into words. Taking our petitions to God!
Instead of worrying about things, position yourself to talk things over with a Holy God!

3) Thanksgiving
* I believe we all know what this word means. To put it simply...there is no hospitality for care and anxiety in a heart full of God's grace and mercy!
Be thankful for what He has blessed you with. And remember most blessings are spiritual not physical!

This is the key to "Go on Praying-Pray without ceasing." As Elizabeth Prentiss' Mother told her and as Paul tells us to Pray without ceasing. That every action taken might be a position in which the channels are always open and clear to the Divine.

Quick Science Lesson
*Newton's third law of motion says for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. I think he got that from the Bible...James 4:8 "Draw nigh unto God and He will draw nigh to you."