Water for the Thirsty
Weekly Devotional

Water for the Thirsty

Prayer – Some of the Benefits

Weekly Devotional

‘As the deer pants for streams of water so my soul pants for you, O God’. (Psalm 42:1)
‘…Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, "If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink”…’ (John 7:37)

11th March 2012

In Philippians 4:6-7 Paul outlines for us some of the benefits of prayer; let’s see if we can identify them:

‘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’.

1. Prayer protects and delivers us from anxiety

Prayer is a means to not only cope with anxiety and worry, but to overcome it and rise above it.

This is very important in our congregational life. By being a people of prayer, a congregation can create an atmosphere where life is easier for all of us. What prayer brings from Heaven to us defeats and silences the voice of anxiety, fear, doubt and worry that war inside our heads.

Prayer then is to be a primary practice in our personal lives as believers and in our corporate lives as a congregation. We must personally and corporately learn to discern when anxiety first begins to come upon us. At that moment, let’s begin to pray, and then we’ll find...

2. Prayer provides us with God's peace

Peace is a powerful weapon that is given to aid us in our spiritual warfare. It stabilizes us and keeps us vertically aligned with the One who is our Peace.

In Romans 16:20 Paul tells us, ‘The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet...’ This is where Satan belongs…under our feet, not giving commands in our heads and influencing our hearts.

When I become frustrated, irritated, or anxious, it is because is some way I have lost my peace. When this happens we need to pray and ask God to help us see where we’ve missed it and ask Him to restore our peace.

We don’t have to blown about by a whirlwind of circumstances. We can find the peace in the middle of the storm. When we allow God's peace to calm the storm in us, then we will find that we can be calm in the storm.

3. Prayer allows us to specifically focus on problem areas

Prayer, supplication, and requests are all words that demonstrate you are taking things to God and talking to God about those things. This is what I meant earlier about praying at the first sign of anxiety.

Be specific in your prayers by bringing your concerns to the Lord. When trials come our way don’t push your panic button, rather push your prayer button.

4. Prayer is a means to stay grateful

Thanksgiving is powerful and vital part of prayer. With it we can literally change the atmosphere in which we live. It is important for our prayer-life and for our whole life.

In Acts 16, we see Paul and Silas in prison praising God, not complaining to God. As a result, the chains that were bound were shaken off them. In a similar way, when we begin to thank God and praise God the chains of anxiety fall away from us.

When the praise goes up, the glory comes down, and the chains fall off.

5. Prayer guards our minds

Anxiety is very much a battle that takes place in the mind, and when wrong thoughts start ruling us, then the devil starts ruining us. Interestingly, in the very next verse, Paul tells us what healthy thoughts should fill our mind instead of thoughts of anxiety.

‘Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things’ (Philippians 4:8)

In order to be good thinkers, we have to allow the Holy Spirit to expose and root out our wrong thinking. How much more productive and healthy we would all be, if we allowed our thoughts to be lead by God's Word.

The peace of God here is described like a soldier who guards a gate to keep out would-be intruders. This is a picture of the gateway of our minds. We need the Lord's help to keep from responding to these wrong thoughts.

I think Paul had this in mind when he was writing to the Colossians, ‘Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful’. (Philippians 3:15)

Have a prayerful week considering the benefits of prayer.

Pastor Barry

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