Depend not on men. Look to Jesus. Continue instant in prayer and watch unto prayer with thanksgiving. Be sure that you have a close connection with Christ."1
My head was in my hands, my eyes closed. I was feeling overwhelmed. My prayer list was getting long: the wounded, the sick, those without work, fears and anxiety, lost loved ones. Lord, so much brokenness — where do I begin? In general, life is full of things that make us anxious. God’s Spirit can seem to be pulling away. I said “God, we need more of You. We need You to rise up and redeem us. How can we have more of You, especially during these dark and difficult times in which we are living?” I was earnest. If God’s Presence brings peace, light, and joy, then I need Him moment-by-moment. I need a walk with Him that keeps me by His side (Micah 6:8). I began to collect Bible verses and quotes from Ellen G. White, prayerfully asking for new ways to draw into His presence and STAY there all day. One of the first Scriptures that I found was exactly what this girl needed to hear. “You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You” (Isaiah 26:3 ESV).
Oh yes, my God, Your peace is what I want. I started by asking Him to help me to keep my mind stayed on Him. Well, prayer time and reading my bible were easy times to focus on Him; but how can I stay focused on Him while taking care of two girls, doing laundry, dishes, housework, gardening, or at work? With so many distractions, it was proving to be a serious challenge to stay connected with God. The Scriptures tell us to “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you” (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 NKJV). It sounded like a recipe to me. I needed to practice being joyful and grateful in all circumstances. I needed to pray without ceasing. I started by having a conversation with God during my chores; talking things out with Him, thanking Him for helping me during each task, and praising Him for who He is. To an outsider, it may even seem like I am talking to myself.
Another tool that I use involves working on scripture memorization. The Bible is God’s holy word, so placing it in my heart is not only a great way to fight off the evil one and his temptations (Matthew 4:1-11), it helps me to keep my mind stayed on Him. I have not found a way to solve all of the problems with darkness and sadness that I see around me, but I have found a way to stay in God’s peace. I found myself praying for people during my chores. If a person’s name comes to my mind, I pray for them. I may not know what they need, but God does. Lifting someone up in prayer is one of the best gifts that you can give a person. God will move on their hearts and in their lives in a mighty way to draw them to Himself.
“…The joy of the LORD is your strength” (Nehemiah 8:10 ESV). I said, “God, I need Your strength!” If joy is found in the Lord, then in His power, I am going to seek to find His joy in all circumstances. Prayer can become your all-day conversation with God; communion with the Almighty, the One and only God, who is powerful enough to bring us joy in the midst of this world full of trouble. Friend, I pray that you find peace and joy in God, today and evermore. Learn to pray without ceasing and to praise Him in all circumstances.
Unless noted otherwise, scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
Ellen G. White, Counsels on Stewardship (Washington, D.C.: Review and Herald Publishing Association, 1940), 274.