Read 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 “Rejoice always; pray without ceasing; in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”
Yesterday, we talked about God’s promise of “peace that passes all understanding.” What a beautiful promise! But how do we get there? Here are some of the practical, everyday steps that I use to trust in God and to reach that place:
- Journal your prayers. I most frequently utilize this when I am feeling heavily burdened or emotional. This is the best way for me to get those emotions out and then to consciously turn them over to God. If you’re feeling down and finding it hard to pray, start journaling your prayer. If you find yourself complaining initially, that is okay, as He knows it all anyway! But make sure you don’t stay there! Turn the prayer towards Him. Ask Him for His help in dealing with the negative emotions that you are experiencing. Ask Him to help you trust Him. God loves to hear from you and wants to help you to become more like Him!
- Sit with God and listen to Him. This one can be used in conjunction with the above. God’s words are life-giving. There is nothing like hearing from Him for yourself! When He speaks, it changes everything. Sit quietly with Him and ask Him your questions. Perhaps you want to know what He has for you today, what He is doing in you and your situation, or how He wants you to pray specifically. Now listen for His response. You may hear His Spirit speak to your heart. He may even give you a vision. Whatever you receive, write it down! You don’t want to miss a bit of anything that He gives you. If you don’t hear from Him immediately, be on the lookout! God is faithful, and He loves you so much. He will answer you, and He speaks in so many different ways. God can speak to you through the Bible, other people, circumstances, nature, your dreams at night, and countless other ways. One thing to keep in mind when listening for God’s voice is that He never contradicts His character or His Word found in the Scripture.
- Pray continually (1 Thessalonians 5:17). We are in Christ, and He is in us, and as such, He should be so interwoven into the fabric of our lives that we are inseparable. So throughout the day, come to Him and talk with Him. Maybe you just have the time to throw a quick prayer up to Him — maybe it’s just a “Help me, Jesus!” prayer. Talk to Him anytime fear arises or feelings of disappointment, frustration, hopelessness, or stress come up.
- Thank Him, praise Him, and worship Him. Give thanks to God for who He is, what He’s done for you, and all the blessings He has given to you. Worship is one of the most powerful, atmosphere-shifting tools that we have as the children of God. It is a weapon of our warfare! We are told to ”rejoice always, pray continually, and give thanks in all circumstances” (1 Thessalonians 5:16-17). Know this: Worship is not just for God’s benefit, but also for ours!
- Choose LIFE! In Deuteronomy 30:15, Moses gives the Israelites a choice: “You can choose life and success, or death and disaster.” How do we choose life? You choose life by deciding who you listen to — who you believe and obey. And Proverbs 4:23 sheds some light on this principle as well, “Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life.”
Be careful what and who you listen to. Remember, the world and those in it walk in darkness. We walk in the light! Surround yourself with people who will minister to you and speak God’s truth into your life, whether this is through the Bible, personal relationships, books, podcasts, sermons, music, or whatever form it may take. Seek out what God has to say about Himself, about who you are, and about who He is for you. Marinate yourself in it!
Prayer for Today: Father, thank You for Your faithfulness to us. Thank You that You love to hear from us and that You love to speak to us. Thank You that You want to help us to overcome, You want us to know You more and more, and You want to make us more like You. You truly are a good Father, and we praise You for it. Amen!