Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.”
There it was in black and white, and I felt peace come over me. I had been agitated all day. Another girl, this time 13 years old – 13 years old! had been asked to leave where she was staying as she had been sneaking off and causing the family trouble. No one could control her – her mouth, her actions, her will. It just seemed a natural progression to say “Yeh, come and live at home for a bit”. But I was cranky.
I kept muttering and thinking in my head, “I know I should pray, but really there’s so much more to do.” So. Much. More?
We had already been losing a fair bit of sleep over ‘adopted daughter 1’ and her apparent disregard for house rules and generally just being disrespectful. Yes, there had been growth and change – not in the way I was wanting or hoping for – surely teenagers should just ‘snap out of immaturity’ right? – so wrong. Besides I have 5 little ones that need my all, my everything and a husband.
I whispered the words to Paul, “I know this is the right thing to do, but I’m not ready, and I have the wrong attitude, we’re going to have to make more rules, be stricter…” More. Rules? Stricter? I stopped midsentence – and then started again, “It’s funny how when we feel awkward, unsure, insecure we so quickly turn to rules to make us feel safe. That if we can put more restrictions on those that are bound to hurt us, we somewhat feel guarded.” It’s true in churches, in families, in the workplace. It’s true. But it’s not right. It’s security misplaced.
I came home and began a conversation with God – “I feel so inadequate. I have no idea how I’m going to cope. I feel anxious.” Anxious, I remember that word in scripture. The scripture came flooding back in a whole new way. Anxious and prayer. Side by side. Not anxious and
rules (don’t get me wrong guidelines and rules are ok to hand out but not from a motivation of anxiety). Prayer, petition & thanksgiving.
I sprawled on the bed (the whole kneeling beside the bed didn’t suit the occasion! I was tired and weary. Ha!) and prayed and wept. Specifically. This time I felt that God wanted to hear the specific struggles I was faced with, the concerns that bothered me. He wanted my time in prayer.
The interesting thing about praying specifically, is we are not only able to see general answers, but we are able to see specific answers.
It was a sudden peace I experienced last night. A peaceful assurance that in my inadequacy, God would be more than enough. He would work this for my good and our family’s good. Everything was going to be ok.
After reading this verse, I realised I really don’t have much of an idea as to what ‘petition’ involves and I would love to explore the concept of ‘petition’ more – does anyone have any insight? thoughts? experiences? I would love to hear them.
So when we feel inadequate, anxious and concerned – God has given us perfect resources – prayer, petition and thanksgiving.
Until the next time….