Archive for the ‘Prayer’ Category
“Cast all your anxiety on Him, for He cares for you.” 1 Peter 5:7
I love the word picture in this Bible verse. Peter was a fisherman, and the word he uses for cast is the same word for when a fisherman casts his net out into the water. The word means: to throw away from you. But that’s what’s so cool about the word picture for prayer. Since Peter was a fisherman, whenever he would cast out his net, he was always hoping for a reward. That’s why I think this Bible verse is the perfect word picture for prayer. God wants us to cast all of our cares and anxiety on Him, to throw them off of ourselves and give them to Him.
But the second part of the verse is equally important. God wants us to cast all our cares and anxiety on Him because of the fact that He cares for us. When we cast our anxiety on Him, He’ll take it and turn it into peace and contentment. When we pray to God and tell Him about all of the things that we care about, God, since He cares for us, will take our cares on Himself and will help us. That doesn’t mean that God will just give us whatever we want. God is intensely personal and He wants us to share our anxiety and our cares. He’ll either change our circumstances or He’ll change us so that our anxiety and cares are transformed into contentment.
“For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are — yet was without sin. Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.” Hebrews 4:25-16
This Bible verse shows you just how personal God really is. So many people think of God as a police officer somewhere up in the sky waiting to penalize us for our offenses. But God is intensely personal, knowing us better than we even know ourselves and ready to help us in our weakness. This Bible verse really encourages me to pray more, because God understands my weakness and wants me to ask Him for help. He doesn’t sit there angrily waiting for me to come to Him, saying “It’s about time.” He’s up there waiting to offer me grace and help me to change.
That’s why the second part of the verse says, let us approach the throne of Grace with confidence and receive mercy. We are God’s children and He understands our weakness. The worst thing we can do is to just sit in the mire and feel sorry for ourselves or say how unworthy we are. God wants us to come boldly before Him and ask Him for grace. We all make mistakes and God wants to help us change. But in order for us to change, we have to be bold and come to God, who understands our weakness, and ask for the grace to change and become better. Shame is a very powerful emotion, and it keeps us from seeking God. We feel unworthy and don’t want to ask God for anything. But without boldly asking God for grace, how else will we ever change?
“Sacrifice thank offerings to God,
fulfill your vows to the Most High,
and call upon Me in the day of trouble.” Psalm 50:14-15
This Bible verse about prayer is one of my all time favorites. It’s such a simple model for living. Let’s break it down into its 3 parts. The first part of the verse says to sacrifice thank offerings to God. In simple terms a thank offering was an Old Testament way for a person to show that they wanted to give God thanks for something He had done. In my mind, it simply means be thankful and show it. The second part of the verse says to fulfill your vows to the most high. This is especially important I think. So many times a person will come to God in their despair, cry out to Him, ask God to help them change, and then go back to their old way of living once everything settles down again. When I became a Christian, I asked Jesus to be Lord of my life and to help me become a better man. But often, I take back control and continue living in ways that I don’t really want to. I’m breaking my vows to the Most High and I need to do better to not do that anymore.
But the third part of the verse is what I want to focus on. How cool of a command is that? Call on Me in the day of trouble. God commands that we come to Him and cry out to him when we’re in despair and depressed and don’t know what to do. He likes coming to our rescue. When I first read this verse, it really changed the way I prayed. Before, I had sometimes felt guilty about only really coming to God when I was desperate, and it made me not want to call out to Him during those times when I was in despair. But then I realized that God likes it when I call on Him in the day of trouble. He likes coming to my rescue when I’ve screwed up my life so much that I can’t dig myself back out. Sure, He would prefer that I came to Him more often than that, but He at least, if nothing else, wants me to call on Him in the day of trouble. What an awesome command.
“The Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express.” Romans 8:26
How cool is this Bible verse. This verse has been perfect for me in times when I don’t know what to pray. Sometimes life is just all wrong and I don’t even know the first place to start to get it back on track. I feel despair, depression, and darkness, and I have no idea what to tell God or ask Him. That’s when I just come to Him and say, please fix it. Everything is wrong, I surrender my circumstances to you. And I have Romans 8 in the back of my mind, knowing that even though I have no idea what to pray or what to ask God, the Holy Spirit is helping to express my depression and despair to God in ways that my words could never express.
When you really stop to think about it, it’s absolutely amazing. So many people have a picture of God as some police officer up in the sky waiting to penalize us for our wrongdoing. But God is intensely personal, knowing more about us than what we can even express in words. And when we come to places of darkness, depression, and despair, God knows exactly what the right thing is and expresses our anguish in groans that words cannot express. That’s really amazing and should inspire us to cry out to God often when we’re feeling depressed and in despair. I hope this verse encourages you.