EARTH: Prayer Leads To Peace by Francine Rivers

Reflections on How God Speaks Through Nature

Prayer Leads To Peace by Francine Rivers

From: Earth Psalms

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.
(Philippians 4:6-7)

In the words of Winston Churchill, “Never give in. Never give in. Never, never, never, never.” That must be the rallying call of the woodpeckers in our neighborhood, some of whom have decided the vent holes beneath our eaves are the perfect location for a new house. We’ve had one pesky fellow trying to widen the access to our attic. He managed to get through the wire mesh and pull out some insulation.

We wouldn’t have known he was at work if he hadn’t decided to put his machine-gun beak into our bedroom wall.  I leapt off the Exercycle, ran to the wall, and pounded – with fists.  Silence.  For one whole minute.  I had no sooner returned to cycling than he was back at work.  This time I ran out of the room, down the stairs, and out through the back door.  He fluttered calmly away and took a break on the oak down the hill.  I know he was smirking; I could feel it.  I went back inside.  By the time I reached the bedroom, he was back at the wall, probably laughing.

Such persistence!

He reminds me of the worries that can come rat-a-tatting at my mind, usually late at night.  The doubts and fears flutter in, and I try to rat-a-tat some kind of solution.  Then I remember: God is God, and I’m not.  Which means I have a decision to make: keep rat-a-tatting, or let go and let God work.

We called Stan, our contractor, and he sent out Alan to cover the woodpecker’s holes with metal vents.  When we find ourselves drilling our own holes through constant worry, we can cover those vulnerable places with prayer, which redirects our thought processes and keeps us focused on Jesus.  And in Philippians 4, God promises that when we release our worries and turn instead to prayer, he will give us his peace – peace that’s beyond anything we can understand.  His peace will guard our hearts and minds from the anxieties that can be as persistent as a woodpecker.

Not to be discouraged, the woodpecker has started drilling his way into the telephone pole across the street.  It’s a good reminder to be diligent in prayer and not let worries flutter back and nest in my head.

Worry is like a rocking chair: it gives you something to do, but it gets you nowhere.
(Erma Bombeck)

REFLECT

What worries are keeping you from resting in God’s peace?  Spend a few minutes outside (or, if it’s too wet or cold, look out a window).  Look for evidence of God’s presence and his loving care in nature, and remember that it extends to you, too.

APPLY

This week, reread Philippians 4:6-7.  When you’re anxious, choose to turn away from worry and toward prayer, away from anxiety and toward God’s peace.

CONNECT WITH GOD

Lord, it’s so easy to fall into worry.  When my fears are reverberating in my mind, help me to stop trying to fix everything myself.  Teach me to turn to you in prayer, trust you to be in charge, and let your peace reign over me.

The Lord gives his people strength.
The Lord blesses them with peace.
(Psalm 29:11)

 

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