TODAY’S SCRIPTURE Philippians 4:6-7
George Adam Smith tells about a time where he and his guide were climbing in the Swiss Alps. It was very stormy. When they reached the summit, Smith rose up in excitement, forgetting about the winds. He was nearly blown over the edge. The guide grabbed Smith and said: “On your knees, sir. You are not safe there except on your knees!”²
This is what Paul is trying to convey to the Philippians when he writes to them about the safety of their hearts being guarded by giving all of our worries to God. In difficult times, the safest path to perseverance is on our knees in constant prayer.
At the base of the brain stem, we have a cluster of nerve cells called the reticular activating system. This system of cells creates new mental categories in our brains for things that we bring to our conscious attention. For example, when we buy a new shirt or car, it seems as though everyone is wearing that shirt and driving that car. The same amount of people were wearing and driving it before. But now that we have brought those things to our conscious attention, the reticular activating system creates a new mental category for them where we will now begin to notice what was actually already there.
This has major spiritual implications for prayer. God gave us our brains and created us this way. Because of this property of the mind, prayer helps to change our perspective on daily life. Daily prayer, especially that which begins the day, focuses us for the day, sets the tone for how we will view our encounters, puts our minds in a position of reliance on God, and puts us on the lookout for Him working in our lives. When we pray for God to give us opportunities and help us rely on Him, we create new mental categories that heighten our awareness to the things of God that we may have missed before.
Today, I will…make it a point to pray for God to open my eyes to where He is working in my life in order that I may heighten my awareness of His worry-freeing presence.