Growing up atttending Vacation Bible School, Sunday School, as well as attending a small private Christian school songs about God, Jesus, Church, and daily Christian living were very commom. Maybe you remember this one.
It isn’t any trouble just to S-M-I-L-E,
It isn’t any trouble just to S-M-I-L-E.
If ever you’re in trouble,
It will vanish like a bubble;
If you only take the trouble,
Just to S-M-I-L-E. 🙂
A second verse went this way:
It isn’t any trouble just to P-R-A-Y-pray . . .
Prayer is a wonderful priviledge that we have as Children of God. The Hebrew writer says, “Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” (Heb 4:14-16 – ESV).
Because of our relationship with the Father through Jesus the Christ we can confindently draw near to God’s throne in prayer when we are in trouble. We need no man to stand between us and God other than the man Jesus the Christ.
I do not recall where I first saw the following accrostic of pray; but I wanted to share it with you as I add a few thoughts of my own.
- P= Prepare time with God – Do you remember Daniel? Even when he was fully aware of the king’s ordinance regarding prayer, Daniel made a praying a regular part of his day. He pre-determined to set aside prepared time with God. Jesus, God in the flesh, was no differening. We read in Mark’s account of the gospel, “And rising very early in the morning, while it was still dark, he departed and went out to a desolate place, and there he prayed.” (Mar 1:35). Jesus seemed to make this a regular part of His ministry. Setting aside time to pray. What does that suggest to us? We should make preparations to pray every day.
- R= Request of God with Faith – Paul says, ” . . . do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.” (Php 4:6). James echoes, “. . . You do not have because you do not ask.” (Jas 4:2). Although God knows what we need before we ask, He also desires us to realize our need and to recognize our dependence upon Him. He is still able to do more than we can ask or imagine (Eph 3:21), we just do not ask enough. We must ask though in faith that He knows more about our true needs than we do. (I’ll save this for another post, but realize that “yes” is not the only answer to prayer.
- A= Attribute goodness to God – James reminds us that “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.” (Jas 1:17). Take time to count your blessings of life, or health, of family, of friends, of you name it. God is the giver of good. Especially the good that comes from being “in Christ.” Take time to read Ephesians 1:3ff concerning our spiritual blessings that are only when we are in Christ.
- Y= Yield to God’s sovereignty – Again I refer to James who says, “Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that.” (Jas 4:15). If the Lord wills . . . I do not hold the pure Calvanistic doctrine that all of life is predermined by God — even the bad. What James is teaching is not to boast of our own accomplishments and plans. James is reminding us that God is sovreign over all creation. He rules and the world continues because of His steadfast, never ending, merciful love (cf. Lamentations 3:22). We can make plans, we can pray for success, but realize the world is on God’s timetable not ours. This also implies that we trust God’s answer to always be the right answer, even when He says no.
Take time right now to PRAY.