I don’t know about you, but there are days when I feel like I am settling into the routine of being at home. I am working from here, so that helps, it certainly gives me something to do, and for the most part I am keeping to my usual work schedule. Of course the looming deadline of “Sunday” is an incentive–as long as I remember what day it is.
I continue to slowly read my way through the book Anxious for Nothing, by Max Lucado. It helps me to put my feelings into perspective. I realize that I am not anxious, the emotions I feel are linked to being alone and missing the comfort and energy I get from being with groups of people.
Phone calls help. Zoom chats are so much better.
One thing that remains a constant are regular chats with God. During the news. During the government briefings. Praying specifically for all those who are working so hard at this time, usually in real time as I listen to them speaking to the country.
I also pray with gratitude for the kindness and generosity I see happening. And I am grateful for the signs of spring. The tulips on my dining room table. The antics of the dogs in the off-leash park outside my window. The never ending view that delights me.
The mail the other day contained the weekly letter from one of the members of the congregation who is using that as a means of keeping in touch with everyone. It is good to see how people’s gifts and skills are coming out, and how their ministry is expanding at this time.
In one of the letters there was a bookmark with the encouraging words from Phil 4:6
Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.
It dovetails nicely with what I am reading in Lucado’s book. He points out that God is our source of peace and that we can reach out to God at any moment, every moment–day or night, God always hears our prayers.
Lucado points out that prayer is our action against anxiety.
For me, when I have had those moments when I could not pray for myself I have enlisted others to pray for me. What a blessing that has been over the years.
And I do the same for them. I am currently praying for a friend who works for Wycliffe Bible Translators and is trying to get out of Angola. The flights were set up with a complicated alliance of airlines that would get him into Germany for a flight to Canada. He has a hotel room booked for himself and his family to quarantine when they get back. All he needed was approval for the land journey to catch the first of those flights.
So that is what he asked for. Prayer for permission to go to where the first flight would originate. Permission was granted and now they are waiting for their health checks to be finalized and to board the flight. Now he is requesting prayer for a safe journey.
How this unfolds is a pattern that Lucado says will be the strength for our prayer life. Specific requests.
His advice is Threefold:
- make your prayer specific
- specific prayer is an opportunity for God to work
- specific prayer creates (for us) a lighter load.
When I ask others to pray for me, or pray for what I need then I am able to leave it with God. Able to let worry go. Able to focus on other things that I am meant to be doing.
It is so simple really, ask God to do what he does, and spend your time doing what God asks you to do. I pray that I will get better at it.
Lucado writes: The path to peace is paved with prayer. Less consternation, more supplication. Fewer anxious thoughts, more prayer-filled thoughts. As you pray the peace of God will guard your hearts and mind. And in the end, what could be better?
Powerful, patient, Peace giving God, we turn to you with confidence
Every thing is a gift from you, every situation an opportunity to speak with you
Accept our prayers and hear what we speak from our hearts
Centre our lives in your mercy and fill us with your peace and purpose
Eternity belongs to you and we praise you for sharing it with us. Amen