Welcome to Daily Steps!
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Philippians 1:19 - “For I know that through your prayers and the help of the Spirit of Jesus Christ this will turn out for my deliverance”
The Privilege of Prayer
Author and Holocaust survivor, Corey ten Boom, once said of prayer: “We never know how God will answer our prayers, but we can expect that He will get us involved in His plan for the answer. If we are true intercessors, we must be ready to take part in God’s work on behalf of the people for whom we pray.” In last week’s memory verse, Paul reassured us that God always finishes the work he starts, and this week, in Philippians 1:19, he tells us how we get to be part of that incredible work no matter how far away we are from each other... through the power and connectedness of prayer. Because Paul is more concerned about the encouragement and peace of mind of the believers in Philippi than his own well-being, he tells them about the most effective thing they can do for him and expresses unshakeable confidence in the outcome of their prayers.
God puts us in — or makes us aware of — circumstances to be a participant, not an observer. The moment you hear of someone in need, it’s never a coincidence. He is all-powerful, all-knowing, and wants to be intimately and personally involved in our lives, so nothing happens without his intention or knowledge. Because he wired us to need him and each other, when we go to him in prayer for others, heaven touches earth, effectively drawing us closer to Jesus and to each other… no matter the distance between us, emotionally or physically.
Today, whether you’re feeling distant from God, or feeling distant from someone else, the gap for either is closed in the same way: prayer. And if you think you’ve been away too long to pray — you haven’t. If you think you need flowery language to pray effectively — you don’t. If you think you’ve made too many mistakes to pray, thankfully, you’re wrong. Prayer is simply talking to God without a filter, pretense, or agenda, and then waiting in stillness for him to respond. Prayer is spending time with the One who loves both you and the person you’re praying for, no matter what either of you has done or not done.
Every second of every day, our souls are longing to be with Jesus, it’s just that most of us don’t accurately identify that ache we feel as the distance between earth and our heavenly home. Prayer puts us in the throne room. Any time. Anywhere. Why not go there throughout the day and take with you the needs of those God has called you to love? Prayer always closes the gap, always encourages, and always matters.
Bible Readings with Prayer Prompts
Monday - Read Romans 8:26 and spend a few minutes thanking God that you don’t have to come to him with complex words or follow a formula to talk to him. Wait in stillness for a few minutes and ask him if there’s anything he wants to say to you today.
Tuesday - Read John 13:35 and take a few moments to pray for three people who come to mind: someone you love, someone you’re struggling with, and someone suffering or in great need.
Wednesday - Read Ephesians 6:18 and then ask the Holy Spirit to remind you to pray often, throughout the day as you encounter others.
Thursday - Read 1 John 4:18 and spend time praising Jesus that his perfect love assures you that you can come into his presence without fear or shame.
Friday - Read Psalm 145:18 and then ask the Holy Spirit to flood your soul with encouragement to be transparent and truthful in your prayer time. What is hidden cannot find healing, so spend time asking God to search your heart and help you release something to his control.
Invite God's Presence
Select one or two of these spiritual practices to try this week.
- Meditate on a verse
- Be still and listen
- Spend time in solitude (i.e. a walk in nature)
- Create (paint, sculpt, draw, write poetry or music, etc.)