Pray in All Things

Recently, I’ve been scared. There’s lots of scary stuff going on in my life. End of the semester stress, graduating this year, starting a job to fund raise for a future career of ministry, and simply wanting to do what God has called me for. I’ve been scared, but God is bigger than my fears. This past week had many cool moments occur. I learned that I had the chance to speak at our high school ministry, I had a great conversation with my campus pastor, and I had a chance to pray over people in our city. That’s the moment where it happened, where a simple thing hit me in my moment of feeling weak. Prayer. One of those basic things we have in our walk with Christ. So simple, yet often I overlook the importance of prayer. In my season of fear I have been praying a lot, asking for a sign (some kind of neon lights in the sky to point me) I have been wanting all the answers to my life immediately. God doesn’t work on my schedule. Aww man! But it would be so much nicer, I mean, I know what’s best for me! That’s my human side, and it’s many of your reactions too, well maybe you don’t whine, but you get the idea. In all of my fear, I am choosing to pray, because when I choose to humble myself, then the Lord works.

1 Thessalonians 5: 16-18 says, “Rejoice always, pray constantly, give thanks in everything; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”

Daystar is launching a new campus towards the end of the summer. It will be in a new location (which happens to be close to my house, booya!) and it combines three of our existing campuses. The small groups pastor emailed people who live within a ten minute radius of the campus and invited us all to a picnic at the park right next store to the new building. Now since the small group pastor happens to be my dad, I was excited to go. We had a chance to meet with people from New Garden campus, En Español campus, and the Downtown campus (lots of exposition I know, but hang in there). At the end of the picnic and getting to know each other, we walked through the neighborhood and prayed. While we walked and prayed, I was thinking (my mind seems to always be thinking, kind of frustrating when trying to sleep). I looked back at how silly I seem to be. I am graduating, that’s awesome! School wasn’t easy for me because people would get annoyed at how I would talk a lot and question everything, so I am graduating as a Communication Studies major, where I got to talk about things and question the reasons why people act the way they do. I have a church that gives me opportunity to lead and stretch my legs. I have a great relationship, I have a great family who supports me, and I have great people investing in my life. As I walked I thought about this, and then thought about each house and how I can be the one to share the gospel to each and every one of them. It made me think about two simple ideas.

Prayer causes us to be humble.

The act of prayer is simply saying that I can’t go through life on my own anymore. We are having a conversation with God, admitting that we don’t have all the answers, yet praying anyway. That verse above says to rejoice always and pray constantly. This isn’t a getting on your knees-hands-in-the-air spectacle, it’s simply thanking God for everything. My friend Matt the artist said in small group he likes to thank God for the smallest things like the sky and the breath he takes. I think we all need this attitude, because this attitude humbles us and says we are not the center of the universe, but our God is and he is reaching out for us. When we pray in the midst of our fears, we need to humble ourselves and trust that God is going to work in us, because he will.

Prayer in all things gives us eyes to see.     

The verse above is awesome, because it seems like, pray constantly when stuff is great. We forget that it says in all things. Good, bad, and ugly; we must pray (alternate post title fun fact). In coffee with my campus pastor, Jonathan, I was talking about all the unknowns and fears I’ve been thinking about. He said this small little piece of encouragement. He said, “There are going to be seasons where God will stretch us, but he has to do it to prepare us for bigger things to come.” What a beautiful picture. We are going to experience pain and hardship, and believe me, it stinks. The thing we must remember is that God uses these moments to prepare our hearts for more. He does this so that we can understand the power of the blessings he gives and be able to share with others. Our hardship prepares our heart so that when we come to God in prayer, we can receive new eyes to see his grace and love.

Pray

Yesterday was Easter Sunday. I was able to do the wrap up in our elementary ministry and I had a chance to express the sacrifice God gave for each of us to kids. Maybe God was preparing me for that one moment. Maybe God has a plan I don’t even fully realize yet. Until that path is revealed, I will continue to pray. I will pray in the midst of my fear. I will pray for the relationships in my life of the people I love. I will pray over the opportunities that come my way. I will pray over the homes in my neighborhood for a chance to witness. I will pray in all things.

God wants to move in your life, so pray in all things.

-Joshua Thomas

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