Interestingly, the writer of these verses, the Apostle Paul assumes that followers of Jesus will be praying. Why? To Paul, prayer is so foundational, it’s like breathing. It’s essential. If this is true, a great indicator of one’s relationship with God is their prayer life. The Gottmann Institute published a study where the researchers studied the amount of times that a couple would ask each other to come look at something during the day. They call it making a bid. The more the couple responded to each other, the stronger their relationship generally was. It’s much the same with Jesus. He is often calling to people. Have you felt Jesus calling to you? How did you react? The more someone responds to Jesus the closer their relationship with him gets.
How do you develop a prayer life? Paul instructs his readers to not be anxious. To be anxious is to be worried or afraid. The opposite of anxiety is unafraid, unconcerned, unfearful, unworried. This is the state Jesus calls people to. In every situation anyone can present prayers and petitions to Jesus because he is always listening, always caring. When people turn to Jesus in every situation through prayer, in an attitude of thankfulness, we have the antidote to anxiety.
It’s worth asking: What would be the benefits of spending time in prayer? “And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”” (Phil 4:7). The natural result of a life of prayer is peace. Inner peace flows from being with Jesus, communing with him and trusting him. (read Psalm 23!) God’s peace moves past our attempts to understand the world and places us in his hands. In God’s hands we can weather the storm even when we feel totally out of control. This is what Paul speaks of when he says that God’s peace will guard your hearts and minds. So this new year, if you’re looking for peace and a great way to not waste time, make prayer a habit, it will be worth it.
Until next week,