Isaiah 26:3-4 (AMP) “You will keep in perfect and constant peace the one whose mind is steadfast [that is, committed and focused on You—in both inclination and character], because he trusts and takes refuge in You [with hope and confident expectation]. Trust [confidently] in the Lord forever [He is your fortress, your shield, your banner], for the Lord God is an everlasting Rock [the Rock of Ages].”
Every Tuesday we have corporate prayer at our church. We have four ladies who faithfully attend (including myself), and occasionally we will have someone else or a few more show up. The week before I was asked by my team to pray loud enough so they could come in agreement with me. Talk about getting out of your comfort zone. We pray for an hour. I spend the very first part in worship to God and end in worship to Him as well. Why? Jesus told us to.
Matthew 6: 9-13 (AMP) “Pray, then, in this way: ‘Our Father, who is in heaven, Hallowed be Your name. ‘Your kingdom come, Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. ‘Give us this day our daily bread. ‘And forgive us our debts, as we have forgiven our debtors [letting go of both the wrong and the resentment]. ‘And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from evil. [For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.]’
Prayer is a conversation we have with God. So why did Jesus tell us to acknowledge Him as Holy? You might have heard, “We are suppose to talk to Him as if He is my friend. I do not talk to my friends like that.” Your friends are not God. He calls us friend when we obey Him, not because we show up (John 15:14). Remember God’s ways are not our ways. We still have to honor Him.
Jesus modeled prayer like this so that we would not go in with the expectation that our self-centered prayers is all He needs to hear from us. If we keep our minds on Him throughout, anxiety passes, the need for getting our way passes and we can focus on those areas of His Kingdom expansion. He says He will give us the desires of our heart (Psalms 37:4). My life center should be Him (Matthew 6:21).
I have two handsome sons and a hunk of a husband. I love them dearly. I love spending time with them. Our home is filled with laughter. They cannot be my life center. If they were, our home would not be as joyful as it is. I whole-heartedly believe the Word. My joy is not from those who surround me, but the God who is within me. A life of daily worship and surrender to the Father is my joy and peace source. Do I have anxious thoughts? Yes. What happens when I do? I turn my focus on Him. I do not have to have my Bible out all day to focus on Him, but I do need to know His character and nature (which is found in His Word).
Deuteronomy 32:4 (AMP) “The Rock! His work is perfect, for all His ways are just; A God of faithfulness without iniquity (injustice), just and upright is He.”
Do not just say He is your Rock then go out into the world systems and measure your happiness/success based on their standards. My name does not need to be made known to anyone other than Him. When my thoughts wonder onto where our church will be and who will be there in the next year, I have to get back to thinking on Him (Matthew 6: 25-34). Do not compromise His Word or His precepts. Think on Him and all your thoughts will be what is confirmed by His Word (Philippians 4:8). Peace is your promise with this. Not just a little peace either, CONSTANT peace!! When I surrender my peace and focus on myself, someone else or circumstances that will not matter in the eternal, I have to put my focus back on Him and line it back up with the Perfect Peace.
Father, You are our Creator, our Rock and our Peace. You are the One who puts the breath in our lungs. We want to honor You today. We want to see Your will be done today. Thank You for sending Your Son so that we can be reconciled to You. In Your Son we received Your Love. We are rooted and grounded in Christ. Let us seek ways to bring glory to Your Name. Let us see Your created the way You do. Let us love Your created the way You do. Let us find creative ways to seek the best for others. Forgive us for not putting You first place in all areas. We thank You for Your grace and mercy as we turn our hearts back to You. We repent for harboring unforgiveness as a sign of mistrust in your justice. We want to align our thoughts with Your thoughts. Renew our minds with Your Word today. Thank You Holy Spirit for teaching us the things we may not have known to walk in His goodness. We choose hope today. In Jesus Name, Amen.