No Care in Prayer

Be careful for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6 KJV

If this were my letter I would have written, “Things are terrible here in prison. Please pray and if you can, send me a warm sweater and a box or two of cookies!” But instead, Paul writes to encourage his friends that God answers prayer, even while he is sitting in a cold Roman jail.

He begins by telling them, “Stop worrying!” That is because being in trouble, is like driving on an icy road. Prayer is our steering wheel; faith is the accelerator and worry our brakes. If our car starts to slide, the worst thing we could do is slam on the brakes. To put our foot on the brakes means taking it off our gas pedal of faith. A situation without faith will always skid out of control and directly towards the ditch. Instead, Paul tells us to grab hold of the steering wheel of prayer. We may not be able to change our circumstances, but we can always pray. It is as if Paul is saying, “Stop gripping the steering wheel in fear, instead relax and thank God.” When we give thanks in a crisis, is like gently keeping our foot on the accelerator of faith so we keep our traction on the road. Does it feel like your life is sliding out of control this today? Trust God and pray and He promises that a peace greater than we can understand will guard our hearts bring us safely on the road towards home!

I really love listening to David Wesley’s acapella renditions of some of the classic hymns of the church. I hope you will not only enjoy “What a Friend We Have in Jesus”, but also listen and watch the short documentary at the end about Joseph Scriven. Have a blessed week everyone!

The Whole Armor of God

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. Put on the whole armor of God that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. Ephesians 6:10-11

Some of us have memories of our Sunday-school teacher illustrating this verse by showing the class a brightly colored plastic sword and shield. The scene may bring a nostalgic smile to our face, but to the people of the Apostle Paul’s day, armor was no laughing matter. Every part of a Roman soldier’s armor was as essential to staying alive as a bullet proof vest is to any soldier on a 21st century battlefield.

Paul lists 6 pieces of armor: the belt of truth, the footwear of being prepared by the gospel, the breastplate of righteousness, the helmet of salvation, the shield of faith, the sword of the spirit and last a communications device called prayer. But in the middle of a conflict it is easy to just grab on to on one or two pieces and run into battle half dressed. We think that we will be okay because we have spent plenty of time reading the Bible so even if our faith is a bit weak or we haven’t taken time to pray we hope we’ll get by.

Unfortunately our spiritual enemy doesn’t think the way that we do. He is not planning to attack our areas of strength but at our weakest point. He doesn’t fight by the rules and stays focused on our spiritual destruction. But we don’t need to panic because we aren’t dependent on our own resources. Today we can rejoice because we know two things for certain: God is the manufacturer of the best armor on earth and He has promised to never abandon us in battle!

I really enjoyed this rendition by David Wesley of the song that best tells us how this great spiritual battle will be won. May God bless you as you stand on your own field of conflict next to the mightiest of all warriors – the Son of God!