“When we abide in Christ, the needs of every day, whether great or small, are offered to him in prayer and hope.”
Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – February 4, 2023
So Peter was kept in prison, but earnest prayer for him was made to God by the church. Acts 12:5, ESV
“Thoughts and prayers.” We say it in passing to a suffering friend or colleague. We request it on social media in times of need. And we hear it on the news whenever there is a senseless tragedy at a local or national level.
In truth, offering our “thoughts and prayers” has become an automatic response that we as a society offer as a display of empathy or compassion in a difficult season or situation.
Yet, as I reflect on this today, my question for us to consider is seemingly simple and straightforward: do we actually pray? And by extension, do we truly believe that God hears our prayers and that the prayers of the righteous have great power (James 5:16)?
In Acts 12, we encounter a group of Christians that believe in the power of prayer. Though their leader, Peter, was in prison for his faith in Christ, they continued to believe in God’s ability to work a miracle in a desperate situation. And so, “earnest prayer for him was made to God by the church.”
I encourage you to make “earnest prayer” a regular part of your life’s rhythm. Of course, it should be noted that, mercifully, every day does not bring great tragedy or crisis in which we find ourselves in desperate need. Peter spent more days out of prison than he did within! Yet what was true of this early church was a life of abiding communion with the Lord, living lives of prayer and open conversation with the Holy Spirit.
When we abide in Christ, the needs of every day, whether great or small, are offered to him in prayer and hope. Nothing is too small, for we know he loves us and cares for us in every way. Yet when life’s moments of great crisis arrive, we pray in earnest, not to a stranger who only hears our prayers of desperation, but to a friend and loving Father who preserves and sustains our every breath.
Today, offer your thoughts and prayers to someone in need, and then take the joys and burdens of this life that are on your heart and draw near to the Lord in faith, believing that just as he gave himself for the life of the world upon the cross, he continues to pour out his love upon our world, and upon the intimate details of your life.
Father, teach us to abide in you and live a life of prayer in every moment of every day, through Christ our Lord. Amen.
How can you move beyond the sentiment of “thoughts and prayers” and learn to instead embrace an abiding life of prayer?
All Sons & Daughters: Oh How I Need You
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