“O what peace we often forfeit, O what needless pain we bear, all because we do not carry, everything to God in prayer.”
-Joseph M. Scriven
I am a firm believer in taking everything to the Lord in prayer. As I’m continuing to grow in my walk with Christ, I’ve truly come to value and appreciate the privilege of prayer. However, although I’m grateful for growth, I can’t help but look back on all of the time I wasted being frustrated all because I didn’t take everything to God in prayer.
Recently at my job I’ve been given a new project that has been demanding all of my time. It’s a project that honestly isn’t designed for just one person to handle, yet somehow it was given to just me. Throughout all of the stress and late hours I’ve been pulling at work, my supervisor has continued to tell me the same thing every day, “Leah, if you need help please let me know, otherwise I’ll just assume you can handle it.” Instead of fully evaluating the situation, I took her words as a challenge and my focus quickly changed to proving that I could handle it by myself. So for the past week and a half, I’ve been so busy trying to “handle” everything that the quality of my work was beginning to suffer in the process.
"Lack of prayer is a declaration of self-dependency."
Although the work had been getting done, it was not done effectively. Finally, in a voice of defeat I came back to my supervisor to admit, “I can’t handle this project on my own.” After expecting to be removed from the project, I was surprised when my supervisor responded, “I’ve been waiting for you to say that, I have already appointed someone to assist you in the process.” Man, did God speak to me on this one. How many times have we been faced with a difficult situation but instead of first taking it to God in prayer, we rely on our own understanding? Joseph Solomon said it best, “Lack of prayer is a declaration of self-dependency.”
"Prayer isn't informing God of your problem, it's acknowledging God as the solution to your problem."
My supervisor knew all along that I could not handle the project on my own, yet she waited for me to come and admit that to her. Whew! How could we ever think for a second that an all powerful, all knowing God doesn’t already know what we’re going through? Prayer isn’t informing God of your problem, it’s acknowledging God as the solution to your problem. It’s you coming to Him admitting that He is the source of your help.
The Bible tells us in Philippians 4:6, "Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known unto God." However the scripture doesn't end there, "..and the peace of God, which surpasses all of our understanding will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus." Prayer is not only an acknowledgment to God, but it’s literally an exchange with God. When we bring everything that concerns us to God in prayer, He exchanges our worries for peace, our confusion for understanding and our sorrows for joy.
In Matthew 11:30 Jesus said, ”For my yoke is easy to bear and the burden I give you is light.” He literally provides assistance in taking the load off our heavy hearts, but we first must take all of the weights that our burdening our hearts to the Lord in prayer. Don’t be like me. Don’t wait until you’ve stressed yourself out and have come to the end of your rope before you seek God. Prayer should never be a last resort. No matter how big or how small, take everything to the Lord in prayer.
“What a Friend we have in Jesus, all our sins and griefs to bear.
What a privilege to carry everything to God in prayer.
O what peace we often forfeit, O what needless pain we bear,
All because we do not carry everything to God in prayer.”
- Joseph M. Scriven
For additional information on this topic, check out the following scriptures: