Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!
Let your graciousness be known to everyone.
The Lord is near. Don’t worry about anything,
but in everything, through prayer and petition with thanksgiving,
let your requests be made known to God.
And the peace of God, which surpasses every thought,
will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.
(Philippians 4:4-7, HCSB)
Prayer is a foundational plank in the life of a believer. However, I believe there are approaches to prayer that make all the difference in their effectiveness. When I'm in a stew and go frantically before the Lord, tugging on His sleeve like an impatient child, my prayers are likely to be ineffective. If I go to the throne with confidence that He will take my burden, fight my battles, and is in charge of my circumstances my heart is trusting and a peace as I stand before Him. I've started thanking God FIRST when I pray. One thing that does is to remind me of all that God has already done, the faithfulness of His direction in my life. I will often recount before Him the big answers to prayers in my life. It's like a journey to all the altars of remembrance and praise I've built in my heart over the years. It definitely set a climate for my prayers that was very different than coming wrapped in frantic,impatient chaos.
I love the last part of the verse that promises a change in our mind and hearts as a result of prayer. I've seen a poster with the adage, "Prayer may not change your circumstances, but it will change YOU." So true, right? God desires to guard our hearts from the frantic worry and frenzied impatient control we often assume over our circumstances. Prayer is a release. It's a release of control, a release of attitudes and mindsets that only hinder us from walking confidently in the Spirit. What God gives us when we pray, is a new covering of Jesus! He wraps Himself around us and protects our hearts and minds. Prayer is HUGE, it is power, it is a path to abiding with the Sovereign of the universe who lovingly created us and keeps us. Prayer creates a heart that rejoices...I'll say that again. We can rejoice ALWAYS in the Lord.
I used Sweet 'n Sassy Stamps (Stop, Drop and Pray), stencils and Stampin' Up! inks/markers, and washi tape.