Experiencing God's Peace
"Is any one of you in trouble? He should pray..." James 5:13
No matter what we do, or how hard we try, trouble is unavoidable. Even as believers, we are not immune to having some. And we know all too well what trouble does - completely disrupts our lives. This was why Jesus left us His peace - He knew the world was full of trouble, but that we could take heart, because His peace is greater.
"Then Jesus told His disciples a parable to show them
that they should always pray and not give up." Luke 18:1
Few things want to make us give up on life like life. All of our worries, cares and concerns can cause a fatigue that dries up all the hope within us. When there is no hope, there is no use trying. Prayer helps us to not give up.If we quit doing what we are supposed to do, it is a sign we have stopped praying. But, if we still believe God's got this, in spite of our troubles, it is proof we still pray.
"Do not be anxious about anything,
but in everything, by prayer..." Philippians 4:6a
Most of us already know what prayer is, or we think we do. In its simplest form, prayer means to talk (what we wish or hope for) to God. But it is more than using words, it also means to move toward or lean into God to listen to Him. Prayer is not just about our voice (monologue), but also includes our ears (dialog). God has a lot to say that can calm our fears and anxieties, if we will listen.
"Pray continually." I Thessalonians 5:17
There is no way we can truly do this - we need to sleep, right? But we can stay in a posture of prayer by never closing the doors of dialogue with our Father in Heaven.
"...And petition..." Philippians 4:6b
Petitions are specific prayers of what should take place based on the goodness of God and what His word says. A petition reminds God that what is happening to you or to others must change because it is against His will. To petition also means to bind yourself to what is good, or to restrict something that is bad. There are things that hinder us and things we must hold on to. These petitions (to remind or to bind) are what bring peace to our lives.
From sermon notes 1/30/2022