Pray

I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people, for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.  I Timothy 2:1-4

First of all pray.

Adah and leaves

I don’t know the results of the elections yet. I do know that whatever the results are –            I must pray.

Paul makes it very plain in his instructions to Timothy that I must pray as follows:

  • with petitions – requests for what I may want or need
  • prayers – expressions of my feelings and thoughts
  • intercessions – requests on others behalf, my family and friends, those suffering
  • thanksgiving – gratefulness for life and all my blessings

These four elements encompass all that we may face in the days ahead.

God is faithful and He calls us to pray. God does not need our prayers. We pray to focus our thoughts and hope on faith in God. We need to pray.

What a blessing it will be to show our children and grandchildren that we trust God with the results of this election! Pray together with these children expressing faith that God is faithful.

God has purposes far beyond what we imagine and sometimes those purposes involve success, disappointment, and even suffering.

God is faithful.

Pray.

 

First Responder

Lincoln and candle

 

“Now I lay me down to sleep,

I pray the Lord my soul to keep,

God bless Mommie and Daddy,

And Garry and Gayle and Gregg,

And keep us safe from the communists.”

 

and keep us safe from the communists?

 

I was a freshman in college and we were sitting around one night talking (as we often did) and the subject came up about memorized prayers. (those late night talk sessions covered a vast array of topics) Several of us started reciting our bedtime prayers from childhood and when I said the last line from my prayer, we all stated to laugh.

Where did “keep us safe from the communists” come from?

I had no idea. I hadn’t thought of that prayer in years. So I went to the source of all things childhood and asked my mother.

“It was the time of the Bay of Pigs invasion and your older brother was concerned about communists invading our country. I suggested he pray about it, so he did. Of course you and Gregg copied his prayer,” my mom informed me.

I have two thoughts about that prayer looking back –

  1. when global events concern us  – pray about them
  2. where is the communist threat now?

If we are paying any attention to global events right now – there is certainly cause for concern. There are threats to peace and security on every continent, some are the most brutal threats I can remember in my lifetime. There is little we can do as ordinary citizens about these concerns – there is even less a child can do.

This can bring fear into our lives and fear into the lives of our children and grandchildren.

We can pray.

Not only is that enough, that is the most important thing we can do. God is in control even when things appear to be in chaos. These awful situations are the result of sin. Mankind’s desire to be in control leads ultimately to death and destruction.

Prayer does change things, most of all it changes us. Prayer adjusts our focus from suffering to the Lord God who loves us and gives help in time of trouble.

Philippians 4: 6-7  (TLB)

6 Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything; tell God your needs, and don’t forget to thank him for his answers. 7 If you do this, you will experience God’s peace, which is far more wonderful than the human mind can understand. His peace will keep your thoughts and your hearts quiet and at rest as you trust in Christ Jesus.

I love these verses. God’s peace is FAR more wonderful than the human mind can understand! The peace comes from trusting  in Christ Jesus, not in our ability to fix things ourselves.

Our daughter’s pastor encouraged us to ask ourselves what our first response is to concerns we face. Do we worry, call a friend, get angry? Our FIRST response should be to pray.

It made me think about first responders to disasters like earthquakes, fires, or floods. Those are the people who arrive on the scene first, assess the situation, and then determine a plan of action.

I realized how much better my response to any concern would be if I prayed first – asking God what my plan of action should be. Prayer centers my vision on God and His will for me in every situation – big or small. Then I should determine my response.

I want to be a first responder when it comes to prayer – pray first – then act. I want to model that for my children and grandchildren as well.