3.17.20 Praise & Prayer Prompt: Choose Prayer Over Panic

TODAY’S SIGNATURE VERSE ••• The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. (Philippians 4:5b-6 ESV)

PRAISE & PRAYER PROMPT ••• They say on St. Patrick’s Day, everyone is Irish and I’m proud that I can legitimately claim it (25% Irish and I have the DNA results to prove it!). Under normal circumstances, we’d go around, dressed in green, and if we forgot it was St. Patrick’s—we’d try to find some variation of green so we can avoid being pinched. But this year, no one wants to get near anyone—Irish or not. I think most of us would prefer to be pinched—and hope we can wake up to find this has just been a global bad dream!

At this time, we are collectively anxious and uncertain. There seem to be a few camps for this: 1) the ones in full-blown panic (aka, toilet paper hoarders); 2) the ones who think this is a gross over-reaction; 3) those who are not hoarding the toilet paper but nor are they willing to say it’s an overreaction (that’s my camp); 4) those who are completely denying the whole thing (and I’m pretty sure most of them are around my son’s age). No matter which camp you’re in, the truth is this… we’re in this now. It doesn’t matter if you think it’s an overreaction or not. This is where we are and we’re left with two choices: 1) panic or 2) pray. And if I’m being honest— there’s a 3rd choice of praying with high anxiety over economics while guzzling peppermint tea to calm your stomach. I may or may not (but probably do) resemble the 3rd option. But I’m trying to be Option 2.

Everyone knows Philippians 4:6… “do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.” But the first part of that sentence is actually the tail end of verse 5 (Rabbit Hole Alert: I wish I understood the logic of how they broke the Bible out into chapters and verses).

If we back it up to Philippians 4:5b-6, it says, “The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.”

“The Lord is at hand.” God is here. He is present. And because He’s God, He isn’t panicking. He has a plan. Goodness knows I wish He’d tell me what it is… My worrisome, fix-it-all nature isn’t very good about being left in the dark. But this time is a time that allows us to build our faith and trust. It’s a time that we need to confess our sin of self-sufficiency and admit that we need God. Because the Lord is at hand.

And because the Lord is at hand, we don’t need to be anxious. We simply need to pray. 

As many of you know, the theme for the daily blog is often based on what I need to hear. So if we talk later and you hear anxiety creeping in my voice, don’t label me a hypocrite. Remind me of this truth. I wrote it as a personal reminder too. I do not have this mastered.

And if I can add one more thing here… you know I don’t discuss politics on my blog. But if I can remind Christians of this—it does not matter whether you like our President or not. We are called to pray for him and our leaders. It’s Biblical. Complaining and blaming are not going to help this situation. Only God can. But we need to pray for godly influence and godly direction for our leaders—whether you like them or not.

Today, as you pray, praise God in all you do. Praise Him at every opportunity because He is worthy of praise. Ask the Holy Spirit to help you pray and not to worry. When the temptation to worry creeps in, ask the Holy Spirit for a holy nudge to remind you to put the worry back down at Jesus’ feet and just pray. And while you’re praying, pray for healing for the sick, comfort for the grieving; pray for doctors and nurses; pray for the President and world leaders as they make decisions. Pray for people, parents, families, and the businesses—that we can quickly recover from this. And pray for God to use this to shake people free from the lies of unbelief so they can see the truth and surrender to Him…

SHARING ••• Please share with others! Visit www.MyGraceFullLife.com to read past blogs. Download a free Bible-In-A-Year Reading Plan when you subscribe! Join an online prayer group at www.facebook.com/groups/onlineandonourkneesprayergroup. ***Unless noted otherwise, all Scripture references are from the ESV translation.

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