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Saturday, April 21, 2012

Lord, Teach Us To Pray! Part 52

Prayers of Petition

Of all the prayers we can pray as believers, the general consensus is that prayers of petition are, by far, the most frequently employed. We learn the art of petitioning others from early childhood. As soon as we are old enough to string a few words together, we begin petitioning parents for toys, and candy, and chocolate, and though the object of our petition might change as we grow older, the act of petitioning itself is never far from us.

We ask, and are used to asking, whether it’s for someone to pass the sugar, tell us the time, give us a hand with a heavy item, loan us a few dollars, or get us a certain thing for our birthday. What we must realize however, is that there is a difference between petitioning a wife, a daughter, a husband, or a father, and petitioning God. While a relative, a friend, a spouse, or even a parent might pretend they didn’t hear our petition or our request, although they might simply feign interest in our plight, God will always hear our prayers and supplications.

Although He might not answer our prayers of petition the way we would like Him to, although the answer He sometimes gives us is ‘no’, God hears every prayer prayed, and sees every tear shed.

Philippians 6:6-7, “Be anxious for nothing, 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 minds through Christ Jesus.”

If a recent report by some think tank or another is to be believed, anti-anxiety treatments are a billion dollar industry. There are herbal treatments, naturopathic treatments, alternative treatments, treatments involving crystals, and karma, and the expelling of negative energies. There are also the tried and true prescription medications which relieve your anxiety to the point of keeping you in a constant fog, leaving you drooling in your teacup, and staring at something afar off only you can see in your chemically induce haze.

Everywhere you turn, someone’s stressed out, freaking out, unable to take the pressure, getting ulcers from the anxiety they’re feeling, and being so high strung that a blaring car horn or a creaking door is enough to make them jump out of their skin.

The word of God gives us the cure for anxiety. It gives us the remedy for feeling stressed, and anxious and pressured. Not only is this cure guaranteed, it is also free, requiring an investment of your time and nothing more.

‘Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your request be made known to God.’

No, this is not some newfangled therapy wherein you’ll feel better just for getting something off your chest, or for talking it out. The word of God promises that something will occur once we let our requests be made known to God by prayer and supplication. We are promised that once we come before God, letting our requests be made known to Him, His peace will guard our hearts and minds through Jesus Christ.

If we are anxious about something, it only means we did not obey the word of God, and neglected to come before Him in prayer, letting our request be made known to Him. If we would have come before Him, if we would have followed the prescription, we would have received the peace of God, which would have guarded our hearts and minds through Jesus Christ, and as such would not have allowed anxiety to take root in us.

When we discount the word of God, and chase after the methodology of man, we are sure to pierce ourselves through with many sorrows. The best man can do is relieve the pressure of the symptoms, and even that is only temporary. What God does, is cure the disease itself, while overflowing us with ‘antibodies’ to keep the disease from returning.

Looking at me now, one would never guess I used to be an anxious fellow. If it would have been concern only for myself, or for my wife, I doubt I would have been as anxious, because I am able bodied, I can always find a job stocking shelves, or laying tile. It was not myself I was anxious about. My grandfather had just passed, we had just opened the orphanage, we had mouths to feed, and I saw no way by which we would be able to do this.

Bills were piling up, more children were arriving daily, and I was an anxious mess. Finally one evening before going to bed, I opened my Bible, and happened upon this passage in Paul’s letter to the Philippians. Seeing as a little prayer never really hurt anybody, I got on my knees, and started making my requests known to God. Yes, He already knew of our struggles, He already knew of our needs, but the word tells us to make our requests known, and that’s what I did.

I don’t know how long I was on my knees for, or how long I prayed for, all I know is that it was a significant amount of time, and when I finally got off my knees, I felt as though a great weight had been lifted from my shoulders.

It has been fifteen years since I prayed that prayer, and I have never once been anxious since, because every time we have a need, I go before the Father, and make my requests known to Him. For fifteen years, the children in our care have never missed a meal, they’ve never gone to bed cold, and they’ve never gone without the basic necessities such as clothes.

Let your request be made known to God by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, and He will be faithful.

With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea Jr.

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