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I remember when these words sounded limiting –were you ever in that place? Praying first…or really before anything at all, seemed so restrictive. It took up valuable time and energy. Praying first meant either doing something obligatory and then continuing in my own way or having to sit around and wait while time was a-wasting.
But these words have become sweet. Praying first is a blessing the Lord provides. When we really turn to Him in prayer, laying all before Him, there is a peace unlike any other that permeates our lives.
- What if you never had to guess about the right answer?
- What if you never had to wonder if you were doing the right thing?
- What if you didn’t have your plans messed up because you waited to make them until the timing was right?
- What if you never looked back in regret, believing you really disobeyed God in a decision?
These things happen when we pray first, and when we pray in line with His will. Think of all the verses the Lord gives to show us this truth.
To name a few:
“…in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” –Philippians 4:6-7
Scripture knows it, too. The peace of God, the kind of peace that guards us, keeps us, and changes our lives and hearts, that fills us when we present ourselves in prayer to the Lord.
“This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us.” -1 John 5:14
“Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” –1 Thessalonians 5:6-7
Put these two verses together. God hears us (indeed other verses say will give us anything) when we ask according to His will. God’s will for us is that, for one thing, we pray continually.
To be in His will, we need to be praying. To pray in His will, we need to be praying. (tweet this)
When we really pray –as in, going before the Lord and doing so to give His thoughts, Word, and ways priority in our lives- we hear Him. We get closer to Him. We find ourselves moved and led because we are in closer fellowship with one we can go to always. He’s also the best one to go to always. He’s God.
There’s a reason prayer gives us peace that transcends. It’s in prayer that we are nearest to Him, and He defines peace. He is eager to fill us with it and keep us there (Isaiah 26:3.)
Praying first puts the Lord’s will first. (tweet this)
It puts Him above ourselves, which keeps us where we ought to be- at the feet of Jesus, following Him along the perfect way. That makes it hard to get lost. It removes worries of missed turns and bad timing, replacing them with the perfection and grace of our Savior.
Pray first when you:
- Get up in the morning
- Face difficult tasks
- Make decisions
- Eat a meal
- Enter a conversation
- Spend time with someone you love
- Get the feels (anger, joy, excitement)
- Think you’ve got it handled
- Begin routine tasks
- Consider your relaxation and entertainment options
- Start to worry
- Make plans
- Say yes
- Say no
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