Define Your Reality - Day 3

***This post was part of a Define Your Reality Devotional Series during the 30 Days of Prayer for Family Life Church in March of 2020. It was written by Zach Barnes.***

Rejoice in the Lord always; again, I will say, rejoice. Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. 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. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.  – Philippians 4:4-7

Paul continues on and a few verses later writing, “…for I have learned in whatever situation I am in to be content.” How on Earth do we get to that point? It seems impossible! But, through prayer, and lots of it, we can do all things through Christ who gives us strength.

We might not have to worry about being thrown into jail or being executed for our faith in Jesus. Still, daily we face a battle over allowing our hearts and minds to be imprisoned by our own thoughts and actions. That’s why it is so important that we take every thought captive.  

Ultimately, this is the challenge that is being presented in the verses above, “let your requests be made known to God.” Paul is encouraging us to come to the Father with the desires of our heart. The things we’re scared of, the things we’re excited about, and the secrets we keep out of fear. But our loving Father wants all of it.

Prayer is where Jesus works and does what only He can do. And we must “pray without ceasing” (1 Thessalonians 5:17). This is how we learn to be content in whatever situation God has placed us in.
Paul found his contentment, his peace, and his joy in Christ alone. Whether in prison or learning of the death of his fellow apostle, James, he found and felt the peace and presence of God through constant prayer. Paul was even able to put such a heinous act as approvingly holding the coats of those who stoned Stephen to death to rest through his relationship with the Father.

I challenge you with this today. Pray bold prayers, even if it seems small and insignificant, “And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

Jesus doesn’t ask us to pray just so He can disappoint us. His purpose for prayer in our lives is to grow us and align our hearts with His. THAT is the boldest prayer that we could ever pray, “Lord, not my will but yours be done.”

Anxiety and worry are not of Jesus. He gives us the strength and courage to be content in whatever situation we are in.

Be blessed, Zach Barnes

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