“Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.”

Philippians 4:6–7

Growing up I would have been the poster child for ADD/ADHD if they knew then what they know now. I am easily distracted  so you won’t be surprised that as I read the following quote the other day I was convicted for the simple fact I don’t pray as I should. The quote said, “What if God gave you today only that which you asked Him for yesterday? What would you have?” If that wasn’t convicting enough it had to go even further by stating, “What if you could only keep those things you thanked God for? What would you have? Ouch! I know I am not nearly thankful enough and yet the Bible is very clear on both thoughts as the apostle Paul writes in 1 Thessalonians 5:17, “Never stop praying” and in the very next verse (18) he writes, “Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.” Being prayerful and thankful are God’s will for our lives and they provide tremendous benefits for those that practice them.

C.S. Lewis in his epistolary novel, “The Screwtape Letters” C.S. where Screwtape writes to his young nephew Wormwood in a series of letters to advise him on how best to keep his “patient” away from Christianity. He advises Wormwood not to rely on logic, but to instead keep the patient distracted and confused. It’s good to absorb the patient in ordinary matters so he doesn’t start thinking about higher truths. C.S. Lewis almost writes prophetically regarding how the devil works in the lives of Christians today when he exhorts Wormwood to keep them (Christians) distracted and you will keep them from focusing on Jesus. Isn’t that always the devils goal?

Like Martha in Luke 10 we too can be distracted by many things in this life, many that in and of themselves are very good things, just not the best use of our time. So, how in the world do you and I keep from being distracted? How do we protect ourselves from playing into the enemies hand? In a word, prayer! It’s been well said, “You can do more than pray after you have prayed but you cannot do more than pray until you have prayed.” It’s so true. Here’s the point, the devil fears nothing from prayer-less work, from prayer-less bible study or even prayer-less religion. He laughs at our wisdom and he mocks at our toil but he trembles when we pray!  The devil knows prayer works and he will work overtime to keep us from it. Here’s a great reminder that I try to keep in mind throughout the course of my own day and I pray it helps you like it helps me, “Pray hardest when it’s hardest to pray” because prayer changes things!

“So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most.”

Hebrews 4:16


Michael Osthimer





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