Nehemiah 6:9 But I prayed, “Now strengthen my hands.”
Ever feel overwhelmed by work, family issues, or the uncertainty of life in general? I mean really overwhelmed to the point of almost paralysis. Not able to make decisions, interrupted sleep, using escape tactics rather than dealing with the realities of life. I have been there and can find myself in that place because I’ve neglected my relationship with the Lord. I have stopped talking to him about life and my feelings. I have stopped sharing and listening. Maybe I just assume (wrongly) that he already knows how I feel so I don’t have to share. He patiently waits for us to turn to him with our cares and concerns. Then he reminds us that He is our good shepherd, the keeper of our souls, the One who loves us unconditionally. Even as I write this, I’m reminded once again of how great God is. Who is he to you? Do you find your strength and power in him, or do you find yourself discouraged and depleted because you’ve been cruising on autopilot instead of letting him be the pilot of your life? What does this have to do with prayer? Prayer is a conversation with God. We have a direct line to the Creator of the universe. When we feel anxious—we can say, Lord, I’m feeling overwhelmed and anxious right now—and he might remind us of a verse in Philippians 4 that says, do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. Just sharing with him at the moment is a positive action. We are acknowledging his presence and his power—and as a result, our burden is lighter.
We recently flew to Texas and as the pilot prepared for takeoff, he “powered up” the engines and the plane gained speed down the runaway until it left the ground and took to the sky. We power up our spiritual engines by staying in constant communication with the Lord. Short conversations with Him throughout the day can keep our focus on Him. We can be spontaneous or intentional and hopefully both. We can use “wait time” to pray for people or thank him. Instead of jumping on our phone while we wait in line for gas, we can use that time to “power up” with prayers of praise. When we have offended someone or been offended, we can immediately ask Him to forgive us or ask him to help us forgive. When we feel angry in traffic or hear disturbing news, we can take it to the Lord and ask for wisdom and direction. Philippians 4 also promises that when we pray—the peace of God which transcends all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. Peace that transcends all human understanding is such a gift—and I pray that you will experience it if you haven’t already. It is a peace that you will know is coming directly from the Holy Spirit to comfort, strengthen and encourage.