It happened again! The day started out fine, and I was in my element. But then one thing added to another, things weren’t working out the way I had hoped, getting supper on the table was an afterthought, and at the end of the day, I was frazzled and worn out. My poor husband came home to a less-than-cheerful wife.
And then, a couple hours later, it hit me. I had forgotten the most basic, most common-sense thing! I forgot to pray my way through the day! I neglected to go to the only One who would have been able to help me get through the day and come out on top!
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (Phil. 4:6-7)
Why do we not follow that simple exhortation? We know better than that. But somehow, when times get hectic or tough, we forget to go to the Source of strength and peace. And unfortunately, it is not only we who end up suffering, but most often the people we love most are affected as well. When we are not communicating with our Father or operating in His strength, we are prone to sin. Little issues that would not normally bother us, have the potential to turn into full-blown arguments and points of contention.
The old hymn “What a Friend We Have in Jesus” by Joseph M. Scriven comes to mind. Part of the first stanza states:
…Oh, what peace we often forfeit,
Oh, what needless pain we bear,
All because we do not carry
Everything to God in prayer.
Jesus is such a perfect example for us. During his recorded years of ministry, He spent countless hours in communication with His Father, and lo and behold, He was never stressed or frazzled. The only time when He actually was in great distress – in the Garden of Gethsemane before His capture and crucifixion – He did not stop praying and pouring out His heart to God until He felt strengthened and ready to face whatever lay before Him.
The verse in Philippians promises that if we bring everything to God in prayer – the good, the bad, and the ugly – His peace will guard our hearts and minds in Jesus. I want that for myself, and I want that for every follower of His!
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” (Matt. 11:28-30, emphasis added)
I pray that I would never again forget to follow Jesus’ example. May we all remember that God is the solution to our problems, and if we go to Him like children to their Daddy, He will gladly give good things to those who ask Him (Matt. 7:7-11). We will save ourselves a lot of headaches and pain, and our lives, homes, work places, churches, and families will be more peaceful, harmonious, efficient, and focused on what’s truly important. Lord, help us come to you and find rest for our souls!