"Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right,
whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable - if anything is
excellent of praiseworthy - think about such things." -Philippians 4:8
I've thought so many times that I wanted to post something new on our blog but have literally got all signed on and then sat there thinking, "Nope, not really worthy of it today." Somehow, I've come into the mental attitude that I have to have it all together to say something profound and meaningful. If only you knew how much I love to write. How much I love to share. How much I've been aching to say something. But, alas, an empty post.
I've been challenged, in recent weeks, to discipline myself in the area of spiritual development. I'm already starting my second book in a month (which for those of you that know how much I loathe reading, other than Fashion magazines, this is quite a feat). The funny thing that happens when you force yourself to be more disciplined is that God sees it as an avenue to gently teach you things that undoubtably need to be taught.
My prayer life has been less than satisfactory. In fact, it seems more like a burden...heavy and dark and hopeless. But really, its no wonder. My prayers are always about changing somebody else's attitude. About having them understand me better. About changing circumstances that I've felt were unfair. And there may have been situations where all of those things were true or needed to happen but the Bible says nothing about getting what is "owed" to us. Today during my reading, I came across Philippians 4:8. It seems like such a fairy tale verse that doesn't apply to much other than what the perfect, happy-go-lucky, Christians exude. But when you look closer it is a perfect picture of how our prayers should be. "Whatever is right" "pure" "lovely" "admirable" "excellent" or "praiseworthy" these are the things we should pray about.
When I feel like someone is being hard-headed and unfair, praise God for the incredible parent they are or for their compassionate heart. When I feel pushed around and belittled, praise God for their unwavering leadership and their loyalty to God's work. When I feel like my opinion doesn't matter to them, praise God for their discipline in studying the Word and desire to love others better. Find the "lovely" things in people and praise God for them. I feel like it will bring hope to my prayers and shed light on the best in others. And really, isn't that how God sees us?
The world tells us to be strong-willed, independent, self-relying, self-trusting....where as all of these things have the potential to be "praiseworthy" characteristics, all they've really done is created egotistical, selfish, disconnected people. Myself included. Imagine the change if a new movement approached us that caused us to find the best in others, praise God for their admirable personality traits and forgive them quickly when we feel that they've injured our "egos."
I, for one, am ready to join the movement. Ready to pray for what is lovely. Here's to revamping my prayer life.