Daily Service: Make Prayer Your First Resort, Not Your Last

Pray early and often to guide you through each and every day.

by Bob Hostetler

Posted in Power of Prayer, Sep 24, 2018

Too often we treat prayer as a last resort.

“All we can do now is pray,” we say. We have tried everything else. We have run out of options. So, we pray.

But that just shows that we do not truly understand the nature of prayer.

We may often feel helpless, especially in times of crisis and tragedy, but that does not mean that prayer is a last resort. Prayer is not inaction. It is not a throwing-up-of-the hands or a folding-of-the-hands-with-a-helpless-sigh. Oh no. Prayer, rightly understood, is action. It is hard work. It is resolve. It is revolution. Prayer should be the source and foundation of all other efforts. After all, God says, “Call on me in the day of trouble” (Psalm 50:15, NIV). And the Bible exhorts us: “in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God” (Philippians 4:6, NIV).

Sure, we know that Jesus prayed so earnestly in the Garden of Gethsemane that “his sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground” (Luke 22:44, NIV). But there is no reason to think He waited until the last moment to express Himself in prayer; the Gospel accounts depict Him praying repeatedly, as a first resort, not as a last resort:

And rising early in the morning, while it was still dark, he departed and went out to a desolate place, and there he prayed (Mark 1:35, ESV).

But Jesus often withdrew to the wilderness for prayer (Luke 5:16, NLT).

At about that same time he climbed a mountain to pray. He was there all night in prayer before God (Luke 6:12, The Message).

The fact is, we often turn to prayer in desperation because we failed to pray as a first resort. When we neglect prayer, we are more likely to paint ourselves into corners, so to speak, and end up at our wits’ end. How much better it is to resort to prayer early and often, and in so doing not only follow the example of Jesus, but also guide, and even sanctify, every effort we make in the course of our daily lives. 

Life Faith And Prayer Praying Through Your Fears

Volume 90

Extra reading (mine)

Philippians 4:6-7 {Psalm 55:2, Matthew 6:25, 1Peter 5:7} 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.

Matthew 6:25 Therefore I tell you, stop being perpetually uneasy (anxious and worried) about your life, what you shall eat or what you shall drink; or about your body, what you shall put on. Is not life greater [in quality] than food, and the body [far above and more excellent] than clothing?

26 Look at the birds of the air; they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father keeps feeding them. Are you not worth much more than they?

27 And who of you by worrying and being anxious can add one unit of measure (cubit) to his stature or to the span of his life? [Ps. 39:5-7.]

28 And why should you be anxious about clothes? Consider the lilies of the field and learn thoroughly how they grow; they neither toil nor spin.

29 Yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his magnificence (excellence, dignity, and grace) was not arrayed like one of these. [I Kings 10:4-7.]

30 But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and green and tomorrow is tossed into the furnace, will He not much more surely clothe you, O you of little faith?

31 Therefore do not worry and be anxious, saying, What are we going to have to eat? or, What are we going to have to drink? or, What are we going to have to wear?

32 For the Gentiles (heathen) wish for and crave and diligently seek all these things, and your heavenly Father knows well that you need them all.

33 But seek (aim at and strive after) first of all His kingdom and His righteousness (His way of doing and being right), and then all these things taken together will be given you besides.

34 So do not worry or be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will have worries and anxieties of its own. Sufficient for each day is its own trouble. [1]

[1] The Amplified Bible. (1987). (Mt 6:25–34). La Habra, CA: The Lockman Foundation.

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