Our First and Best Action

Todd Stiles   -  

Prayer is our first and best action.

Admittedly, it’s not our only action. But it is, in all situations, our first and best one.

But why? God answers this question for us in Philippians 4 where he, through the Apostle Paul, encourages us with these words: “Don’t worry about anything, but in everything, through prayer and petition with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus” (vs 6-7).

Prayer is our first and best action because 1) it’s how we reject and replace worry, and 2) how we experience the protecting peace of God. While these are two distinct reasons, they are linked divinely as well.

Undoubtedly, prayer helps us fight the temptation to fret by providing us with a much better option: talk to God about it. Then, as we communicate with the Lord about that which makes us anxious, we gain access to the very thing we need in those moments—divine, protecting peace, the kind of peace that keeps out the very thoughts that tempt us to worry. It’s supernaturally remarkable how prayer activates God’s peace to be the patrolling agent of our heart and mind, posting a “keep out” sign over them aimed directly at Satan and his demons.

Furthermore, I’m delightfully intrigued with the two words “anything” and “everything.” The first word is the umbrella label regarding what we’re not to worry about—anything. And the second word? It’s the overarching label regarding what we’re to pray about—everything. No wonder we consistently affirm the practical principle that, in all situations, prayer is our first and best action. Yes, about anything and in everything.

So today, when you’re tempted to stress because of family problems, pray. When you’re lured into worrying over a financial crisis, pray. When you’re leaning towards fretting over personal failure, pray. When you’re facing the valley of a life-altering illness, pray. When you’re looking at a mountain of changes you never thought you’d encounter, pray.

Sure, do other things, too. Apologize. Work. Save. Press on. Endure. Persevere.

But by all means, pray. Right away. And keep on praying. It’s your first and best action.

Pastor Todd