Each week on Tuesday night and Sunday morning we have a prayer meeting. Everyone is welcome. Some weeks there are a couple of people, and other weeks, many more. They are great times and I know God is at work and blesses because of the faithfulness of those who attend.
I wonder, have you ever had a time when you know that there is a prayer meeting, and you know you should go, but you are thinking: I really don’t want to go! I’m too tired! What’s the point? I’d rather … “insert important or ‘not so important’ activity here!”
“You have those thoughts like I do?”
But then you dig deep, and you go along, and maybe as you are showing up your heart still really isn’t in the right place. But you remind yourself of the Parable Jesus told about the son who said he wouldn’t do what the father said, but changed his heart and did it anyway, and you think to yourself, “I’m not the only one whose attitude isn’t right. But the Father accepted him, so just getting there is half the victory.”
And then you are there, and the time passes quickly, and you spend time in prayer, sometimes alone or with a small group, and sometimes with a bigger group. And you leave the place and you are so pleased you went because you are feeling so much stronger, and you wonder why you doubted. Why you considered staying home. “I’m just so glad I came, because God was there and my brothers and sisters were there, and I just feel so much better.”
Last week Louie pointed out something I hadn’t seen before. He said that experience is a fulfilment of God’s Word – of God’s promise. In a passage that we all know very well it says:
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. (Philippians 4:6 – 7)
When we come to God – putting our worries and anxieties aside and trusting God to hear and answer. When we pray and humble ourselves before God with thankful hearts …. What happens? “The peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, guards our hearts and minds.” Because we prayed, because we cast our cares, our burdens, our anxieties at the feet of Jesus, and His Word is true.
So when you next gather with your brothers and sisters to pray, just remember you don’t need to know the right words to say, sometimes you can’t even find those words so you just praise Jesus. You don’t need long sentences, just a few words is enough because God knows your heart and your request even before you open your mouth. You don’t even always need to have the right attitude – just a heart that is humble before God and that believes that He is faithful and keeps His promises. And then show up – and experience the peace of God which surpasses all understanding.