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every thing by prayer and supplication   Christian  living  and  Christian  service
        with thanksgiving let your requests be   need more than a determined spirit on our
        made known unto God. And the peace of   part. Power and provision from heaven
        God, which passeth all understanding,   are necessary if we are to be effective.
        shall keep your hearts and minds through   King Asa’s prayer captures these sen-
        Christ Jesus” (Php 4:6-7). The verses dem-  timents when he was faced with over-
        onstrate that prayer is the means by which   whelming odds: “We rest on thee, and in
        anxiety can be exchanged for God’s peace.   thy name we go against this multitude”
        Metaphorically, worry is a gloomy cloud,   (2Ch 14:11). In similar circumstances, his
        or a cankerous worm that eats away at   son Jehoshaphat expressed it like this: “We
        our joy, or a pervasive blight that saps our   have no might against this great company
        morale. The Scriptures liken it to a burden,   that cometh against us; neither know we
        weighing down the heart. How can the   what to do: but our eyes are upon thee”
        load be lifted? Where can the burden be   (20:12). That spirit of dependence, ex-
        left? The OT answer is “Cast thy burden   pressed in prayer, is what God wants to
        upon the Lord, and he shall sustain thee”   hear when we supplicate Him. It could
        (Psa 55:22). The NT concurs: “Casting all   be that what we are asking for may not
        your care upon him; for he careth for you”   be precisely what God has in mind for
        (1Pe 5:7). By prayer, the agitated saint can   us, as when Paul prayed three times for
        abandon the issue that seems as weighty   the removal of “a thorn in the flesh.” The
        as a millstone, and in a mysterious way,   difficulty was not removed, but he was
        the peace of God sweeps over the heart   promised  grace  for  his  affliction  (2Co
        and mind.                             12:7-9); the problem of unanswered prayer
          Hannah’s  experience  illustrates  the   is covered elsewhere in this publication.
        point. She carried the burden of barren-
        ness and was teased mercilessly by a rival   An Expression of Appreciation
        who knew how to induce her tears. In the   Another purpose for prayer is that it
        bitterness of her soul she prayed, and long   gives an opportunity to express our thanks
        before there was an answer, “her counte-  to God for past blessing. Even in stress-
        nance was no more sad” (1Sa 1:18). Prayer   ful circumstances, Paul makes clear that
        had substituted God’s peace for grief’s   the supplications should be made “with
        pain; what an incentive to pray!      thanksgiving” (Php 4:6). Prayer meeting
                                              intercessions and supplications should
        An Exercise                           be accompanied with “giving of thanks”
          “Let your requests be made known unto   (1Ti 2:1). Never be remiss when it comes to
        God.” He is not unaware of your needs,   this. Only ten percent of the cleansed lep-
        but our verse in Philippians indicates that   ers “returned to give glory to God,” and
        He wants to hear you articulate them in   the question was “Where are the nine?”
        His presence. The word “supplication”   (Luk 17:17-18). “It is a good thing to give
        indicates praying specifically rather than   thanks unto the Lord” (Psa 92:1).
        in general terms. So here is another of the   In summary, prayer gives opportunity
        purposes for prayer: It gives opportunity   to unburden anxieties, to express need,
        to express our dependence on divine as-  and to bless the Lord for His many benefits
        sistance rather than being self-reliant.   (Psa 103:2).

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