As intercessors but also as ordinary Christians, living our daily lives, we encounter many difficulties and heartaches. It is part of the journey and walk of faith. Some of us can get unstuck during these challenging times. We become overly focussed on the problems, to the point of obsession. We lose our peace, become frantic with problem-solving, envisage and fear the worst outcomes and eventually, are in danger of losing even our faith!
Philippians 4:6-8 gives us the antidote to the above outcome; if we appropriate its contents in our daily living:
“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving (for the problems? No! For His ready help!), let your requests be made known to God; (consequence:) and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds (from the previously mentioned downhill slide) through Christ Jesus.
Finally, brethren (here comes the second part of ensuring His peace, to be practiced daily), whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praise-worthy – meditate on these things.”
Note: italics and emphasis mine
Meditation is different from thinking; we obviously need to think about many things throughout our day, problem-solving on our feet, decision making etc. Meditation is what we tend to brood over and where our minds tend to dwell upon, sometimes without our conscious awareness. This is where we need to take control and ensure that it isn’t of the type described in the above first paragraph!
As intercessors, especially praying for desperate situations, such as many refugee situations, we can easily become overwhelmed with the problems many people are facing. The same approach (Phil.4:6-8) applies here too. We bring those issues to Him in prayer and supplication (our hearts are engaged, not just our heads!), remembering to thank Him that He hears us and that we are working in partnership with Him. He is pleased that we are bringing those issues to Him; caring for others and not just for our own immediate circle, as many Christians, sadly, tend to do. If we become burdened and overly obsessed with those issues, we have missed the point. We need to practice v. 8 of the above Scripture, fully trusting in His dependable care and attention to the issues presented to Him. We continue to thank Him and to present new issues, which are sure to arise!