“Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.” -Philippians 4:6-7 NLT
I never really prayed throughout my adult years. Early on in my life I guess I had put my hands together, closed my eyes and did what my mother had told me to do? A quick, “now I lay me down to sleep”. Possibly a short “thank you” for a meal? But really, I don’t recall ever really knowing what I was doing when I would say those things? Thanking who? Where was God?
I suppose my mother and father were trying to teach me a few things about God, but we never went to a church, or talked about the Bible, or prayed together. Both of my parents were raised Catholic, and there was very little mention of the Lord in my house. We did have a dusty Bible that sat on this huge, ugly orange marble coffee table in the living room. I had an idea in my head of God, but it was a mysterious thing. I learned very little about the Lord, up until my dad’s parents brought me a children’s Bible for my birthday.
This Bible was full of pictures. I remember a lot of the pictures, and maybe I could read a bit at the time? I vividly remember a picture of an angel falling from the clouds. Of course, I know the story now, and it is because of that fall that a lot of destructive things are the way they are today. The Bible teaches that Lucifer was God’s most beautiful and wise creation, who became very proud, and was thrown away from the presence of the Lord. A prideful creation who was now able to corrupt the minds of the men and women to come.
Little did I know how much of a part this “prideful creation”, or Satan, would play in my life. He had great control over my parents. All of the fighting and hitting, harsh words, terrible habits and dumb decisions came from the side of darkness in which the devil had pulled them into. As for me, many things were evolving as I was growing into my early teens that were also part of his schemes. Awful things. Early thoughts of sex, blood and guts, drugs, alcohol, cussing and self-harm. Just to name a few. My early environment had set the stage for a walk with the devil. I was growing a bit older, and now had the ability to choose my own demons. Don’t get me wrong, my parents had a lot of good in them, but they just didn’t spend a lot of time with the Lord. It had its consequences.
I was baptized in a little shack by a man who had a filthy past, but really decided to change his ways and follow Jesus. After my best friend had died, I really experienced a lot of sorrow. I was living a filthy life, was an addict of many harmful substances, and the depression ran a great part of the life I was living. My buddy had taught me a lot about Jesus as I was growing up in my teens. We would talk about the Lord as we would throw down a bottle of liquor and pass a joint. Maybe do a line of crank and talk for hours about God? Who knows? We didn’t read His Word, or care about the consequences of sin. He died from not only a broken heart, but also from the destructive lifestyle he was choosing to live. My brother, my buddy, had a lot of very deep scars that drove him to a tragic ending. I believe that His choice in Christ still saved him. So, after he was buried and gone, I went to the little shack that this man called home, and was baptized. I really didn’t know the significance of this act in front of a few witnesses, but I had made a choice to follow Jesus. It is not like my world changed. In fact, it didn’t change for several more years, not until I really wanted Him in my life. Not until I really started to see how harmful the consequences of my actions were becoming. Not until I realized that I was a sinner. I was just like that prideful Lucifer; full of myself. Full of the world, and its filth.
It is not like I am this great religious freak who never breaks a commandment, or goes a full day without sinning, because Lord knows I am still a mess. Always will be in some way or another. The great and powerful thing about my life today is Jesus Christ, and the beauty that He beholds! The joy that only He brings. The peace way down in my inner-most being that keeps me standing when I am seriously ready to fall down face first from all of the obstacles I encounter in this life.
I guess I really started praying after my friend died? We would have family prayer with his family. I would pray at times for things. I learned the Lord’s Prayer, and learned where it had come from. I went to Bible studies and learned about the Lord. I read His Word. I now have a relationship with Him. Early in the morning, I meditate and pray. Read His powerful words, and do what I can to apply them. I let Him in.
In a relationship, you communicate. You talk about issues that you are facing. You show appreciation for the other. You call on them when you need to vent, or just need them to listen. You lean on each other. In prayer, you do the same. God created the heavens and the earth out of nothing, so I’m pretty sure He can take care of me. When I rest assured that the Lord has control, and anything that is bad or good enters my life, I close my eyes and thank Him. When I’m down and troubled, I close my eyes and talk to Him. When I’m anxious, I talk to Him. When I don’t know what will happen, I talk to Him, and know that He is in control. He has been in control forever. I can’t control myself at times for ten minutes! He is the healer. He is the remedy. He is the great “I AM”.
Give your worries to the Lord today, and let His peace rest upon you. Talk to Him. He listens, and will bring you what you need at the right time. Have faith in Him, for He knows what is best for you. Be aware of His gifts. Be aware of the answers He will bring to your prayers. Be patient, and be blessed.