Thankful for Prayer – Week of November 20, 2017

Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.
Philippians 4:4-6

Have you watched a toddler struggling to open something, put an article of clothing on, or climb up onto a chair? When they can’t accomplish the task they set out to do, they may throw something, or perhaps themselves, onto the floor in limp exasperation. You want to help, you know what they need, and you could even just complete the task for them—but instead you give them the words, “If you need help, say, ‘I need help’”. We want them to ask us for help when they need it, even if we know what they want. How happy we are to help when they ask!

God wants us to say, “I need help”. Even though he knows what we need before we pray it, he wants us to ask. He wants us to come to him with thanksgiving for all he has done for us and humbly ask him for what we desire. In this he keeps our focus on him, the only source of help, comfort, and blessing in this world. And when we reach out to him, our loving, all-knowing God is so happy to hear and answer our prayers!

We are reminded that we can be joyful even during times of trial. Even when we are suffering, we rejoice because Jesus came to us when we most needed help. Without him we would still be stuck in our own sin. We rejoice because Jesus died for us, he destroyed sin on the cross, and promises to return to take us to heaven. We rejoice, even when we are suffering, because God has promised to help us. We thank God for this first, and then humbly bring our requests to him. How happy our loving God is to help us!

Prayer: Dear Jesus, I need help! Give me a joyful heart always. I rejoice that you have forgiven me and promise to listen to my prayers. Today I would like to pray for (insert a concern, or request, or pray for someone that is going through a troubled time right now). Please help me through this challenge, knowing that all things work for the good of those who love you. Amen.

A Question to Consider: God wants us to pray! Make a short list of concerns that you have or people that you care about and pray for them this week. And Christmas cards are going to come soon! Every time you get a card in the mail, say a prayer for them and their family. God listens, every time.

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All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide.