Each month, we point attention to the EFCC Prayer Calendar (details here). This is a compilation of small praise reports and prayer requests from throughout the EFCC and EFCCM; every day there’s something specific to pray for. We’ve asked Dave Acree, the EFCC Prayer Catalyst, to accompany each Prayer Calendar with a short devotional to better help us all focus on the meanings and intentions of prayer.
Behind every prayer request a need lurks, and needs come in all shapes and sizes across a spectrum from mellow desire to anxious desperation.
In Philippians 4 Paul reveals a prayer process that moves us: “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, present your requests to God” (vs 6). Oops! Left something out, didn’t we? It’s almost an afterthought and easy to forget: “with thanksgiving.” Way too often our needs become so urgent and large they overshadow the only one that can really do anything about them!
Thanksgiving brings perspective. When we are thankful to and for God, who He is and what He has already done, and what He might and will do, anxiety has a better chance of melting into peace.
Philippians 4 is not a “one-off.” 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 tells us to “pray continually” and then in the same breath to “give thanks in all circumstances.” How’s that for a seemingly impossible assignment?
Paul practiced what he preached. “I thank my God through Jesus Christ for all of you” (Romans 1:8). Check out 1 Corinthians 1:4; Ephesians 1:16; Philippians 1:3; Colossians 1:3; 1 Thessalonians 1:2; 2 Thessalonians 1:3; 2 Timothy 1:3; Philemon 4 and note the context to identify Paul’s thanksgiving. Now, practice what Paul preached.
Partner each request with thanksgiving!