Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus. ~Philippians 4:6-7 (NLT)
“God has given us the privilege of prayer so we won’t worry”
~I stole this beautiful quote from a friend.
I can have a visionary mind at times looking frequently at the next thing on the horizon, the direction God has for my family and me for the coming year. In many ways this is a good thing, but in others it is not. Looking ahead can often rob us of the present season and the things God wants to do right where we are. Nothing can so effectively bring us back to the present (and past) as the family gatherings of the Thanksgiving and Christmas season when family members say things like, “Remember when…” and “Look at…” In our planning and enjoying festivities, many of us will also become reflective; some by choice, others by necessity.
“What have I accomplished over the past year?”
“Where has all my money gone?”
“What am I going to do about the unexpected changes I/my family have undergone?”
“How do I get things back on track?”
“What is most important?”
These are a few questions that can drive us to stress, worry, and depression if we let them. So I would like to encourage us to take a prayerful position as the New Year approaches and a lot of things begin to stress and press us.
Prayer can often be viewed as a time-consuming activity, but without it we lose much peace that is needed to process the past and present. Taking where we’ve been over the last year (or two…or three), where we are, and where we’re going to God in prayer allows us to observe how much has truly worked in our favor. We realize the nuggets of treasure we’ve gained that may have originally looked like coal. It becomes easier to sense God’s direction for the future. We can hear clearly from Him and receive grace to follow His leading in every area of our lives (Heb. 4:16). Reflecting and planning through prayer becomes an exercise in releasing, resting, and rejoicing. As the beautiful quote above states, and Philippians 4:6-7 promises, we really can eliminate worry and have peace about the past, present, and future through a great privilege called prayer.
The answer to the past and present is prayer. The power in planning is prayer. And the result of prayer is peace. In all your reflecting and planning, use prayer and receive peace.
Father, we thank You that one of the primary goals for sending Your Son to earth was so that all humanity could experience peace with You, with one another, and within. Help us this Christmas season to stop right where we are when worry, stress, or regret try to seep into our hearts. Give us courage and a holy reminder to pray. Help us whisper, “Father my life…past, present, and future…is in Your Hands. Show me Your will concerning this that I am facing. I give it to You.” Then, Lord, take it and replace it with peace that can never come from earthly sources. We thank You again in Christ’s Name. Amen.
Dawn Bedingfield is the mother of four, a self-published author, and writer for the Make Mondays Matter weekly blog and The Christian Woman Chronicles Bible Study blog. She is also editor-in-chief of Sky Blue Daisies Publishers, a Faith-based publishing company for women and children’s literary works. To learn more about Dawn and her products and services, visit her ministry website, Costly Oil and Facebook page.
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