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A Praying Life, Chapter 8


Chapter 8: "Bending Your Heart Toward the Father" | Week of April 29, 2018

“Do not be anxious in 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." – Phil. 4:6-7


REFLECT:

We are created for relationship with God, and therefore prayer is foundational to our wellbeing. "What does an unused prayer link look like? Anxiety. Instead of connecting with God, our spirits fly around like severed power lines, destroying everything they touch. Anxiety wants to be God but lacks God's wisdom, power, or knowledge. A godlike stance without godlike character and ability is pure tension." (Miller, A Praying Life, page 58)

Our sin makes us yearn for a level of control we can never possess, all while rebelling against the only One who possesses the power we crave. God loves, provides and rules perfectly, working all things for the good of those who love him and are called according to his purpose (Rom. 8:28). Anxiety reveals our distrust of that truth. 

RESPOND:

What causes you anxiety and worry? Spend time identifying the places in your life you're prone to those emotions, and see if you can work out how they connect to control and trust. Don't just skim the surface. Sometimes we experience anxiety in multiple contexts without realizing that it may all be related to one root cause. See if you can identify the causes. This is what you will be praying for. 

PRAY NOW:

Pray through Philippians 4:6-7 with your list of worries and anxieties out. Something along the lines of: "God, forgive me for being anxious and not trusting. I worry about ______. I fail to trust that you are ________. Please help me with ________, and thank you for being ___________. Please grant me peace this week as Jesus guards my heart and mind." 

PRAY LATER:

Last week we talked about continuous prayer. Another good, short prayer comes from an exchange Jesus has with the father of an ill child. The man expresses doubt that Jesus can help, and Jesus challenges him. The man's response? “Immediately the father of the child cried out and said, 'I believe; help my unbelief!'” (Mark 9:24). This week, make "Lord, I believe; help my unbelief" your starting place in those moments you've identified to begin  developing a rhythm of prayer.

Additionally, please pray for safe travels and spiritual renewal this week for our elders Sean, Walt, and Erik as they travel to the Acts 29 West Conference. 

PRAY AS A FAMILY:

Talk with your children about what makes them afraid, and then how they can trust that God will be loving and good even if things get hard. Pray with them for their fears with Philippians 4:6-7 in mind, and encourage them to pray for peace when they feel anxious.

Tags : prayer, devotional