Growing up, I did not know the importance of reading the bible. I remember being young and trying to read the bible. It felt complicated, and I didn’t understand it. I felt frustrated. There was so much that I did not know.
I am still learning. A few years ago, I was going through a difficult time. I would pray and open the bible and read a few verses. They would make sense. I started small. As I continue to learn, I learn new biblical ways to pray and live from church on Sunday and from my women’s bible study.
Now, I start my day by praying and put all my requests before God. I lay down my thoughts, my worries, my thankfulness and my praise. God does not want us to be anxious for anything. God wants us to humbly pray to him. God wants us to tell him what we are thankful for and let him know that we appreciate all the work he is doing in our lives. We need to be polite and acknowledge that we see what God has done and say thank you. God will give us peace that surpasses all understanding. God, will guard our hearts and minds through Jesus.
Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
–Philippians 4:6-7 (NKJV)
God will guard our hearts and minds through Jesus. This week started out rough. I felt Satan attacking me. I was full of worry, fear and anxiety. It feel overwhelming. I called to mind everything that I learned recently. I read the bible. I prayed that God would fight for me.
It was amazing. God stopped me from responding to the world around me. I even prayed for those that were not being nice to me. I prayed that God would give them the hearts and minds of Jesus. Before bed, I prayed with my husband. I even reminded myself of the church message from Sunday, that we forgive others, so we do not block our own prayers from being answered. God gave me calmness, despite it feeling like I was the target in the middle of a battlefield.
I cannot see Jesus, but I can feel his presence. Sometimes, when I bend my head in prayer, I can feel his presence so deeply, that I wonder if I will see him, if I open my eyes and look up quickly. Once I took that leap of faith, and I believed and trusted in God, I can feel Jesus so strongly, I wonder if it is more powerful than seeing him.
Jesus said to him, “Thomas, because you have seen Me, you have believed. Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”
–John 20:29 (NKJV)
When I was trying to go to sleep, I felt calm, but my mind felt like I was running a marathon. I could not go to sleep. I remembered advice from my bible study group. A lovely lady told me that sometimes she writes down a bible verse on an index card. She will read it, and keep repeating it, until she falls asleep, and when she wakes up, it is the first thing on her mind. This seemed like good idea. So, I read a bible verse and repeated it over and over again. This is the verse that I read:
for the Lord your God is He who goes with you, to fight for you against your enemies, to save you.
–Deuteronomy 20:4 (NKJV)
It was like a shield fighting off the anxiety. I fell asleep, and when I woke up it was my first thought. My anxiety had not gone away, so I had to keep repeating it, until that evening, when it felt like the battle ended.
I realized that I can truly do all things through Christ who strengthens me. I cannot do them on my own.
I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.
–Philippians 4:13 (NKJV)
God sends out an army for us. God fights our battles. God gently, but firmly, guides us through temptations and difficult times, when we feel overwhelmed. Bible verses are our shields.
Thank you for being so good. Thank you for fighting my battles. Thank you for gently and firmly guiding me to do your will. God, I pray that you will continue to fight my battles for me. Even when it feels like I am in the middle of the battle, as the target, I pray that you will hold me up and give me peace to do your good will. God, your ways are so good. I want to do your will.