Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Philippians 4:4-7, NIV*
Sometimes intercession feels like a burden instead of a privilege. Maybe the needs start to look bigger than God, or we don’t see Him responding, or His answer doesn’t match our plans.
It happens to me every so often. A few weeks back, I had some heavy-duty prayer requests on my heart. Mindful of the persistent widow, I repeatedly brought them to the Lord “with prayer and petition” but I guess instead of “presenting” them to Him I kept a tight hold.
Reading these verses this week, I see the problem. I’d forgotten the “God is near” part, the “thanksgiving” part. I kept trusting Him in the dark, but there was no peace.
Father, thank You that we can bring everything to You, the Creator and Sustainer of the universe and the One who cares for us. Thank You that You are near, and that we can trust You. Thank You for what You will do in and through us, and that we can count on You – not to do what we want, but to work what is best. And oh, I thank You that as we give our burdens to You in confidence, You promise Your peace will guard our hearts and minds in Christ.