Our scripture this morning is Philippians 4:4-9.

“Always be full of joy in the Lord. I say it again—rejoice! Let everyone see that you are considerate in all you do. Remember, the Lord is coming soon. Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus. And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise. Keep putting into practice all you learned and received from me—everything you heard from me and saw me doing. Then the God of peace will be with you.”

Paul closes his letter to the Philippians with instructions for continuing what he has taught them. He writes “Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything” (v. 6). How much better would our outlook and daily life be if we followed this?

Daily contact with God in prayer is essential. If we are in conversation with Him regularly, we can share our concerns and give thanks, but that’s just our side of things. Like a conversation with a friend, we talk and listen. We have an unfortunate habit of signing off after we ask God for what we need.

While God’s answer to our prayers may not be immediate, we must always be ready to hear and obey His response. If we don’t pay attention we can’t know what He is saying to us. Prayer isn’t a voicemail to record our list of wants to God, it must be an honest and loving exchange.

Heavenly Father, we are sorry when all we pray for is our own needs. Help us to open ourselves to Your response to prayer and to share the joy of our connection to You with all the world. Amen.

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