“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” Philippians 4:6 (NIV)

Good morning! Have you ever felt afraid before? Have you ever been sad before? As humans we all have experienced and felt those things. So what can we do when we feel these emotions? It’s true we can go to our parents or friends and they may be able to help us through the situation, but the best thing to do is to go to God through prayer.

So how do we pray? Prayer is literally a conversation between you and God just like you have a conversation with your friend. However, in this instance you’re talking to the creator and founder of the world rather than a fellow human being. And although God may not speak directly back to you as your friend would, He always listens and responds through actions or event in your life, or through His words in Scripture. Philippians 4:6 (NIV) says, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” This verse tells us not to be anxious or scared but to pray and ask God for whatever we need in the moment. If we are truly God’s people, He will always be faithful to us and be our source of strength and peace in hard situations. He has proved throughout the history of the world that He is faithful and is shaping us according to His plan.

But what about when times are easy and we don’t think we need strength or peace from God at the moment? Do we only need to pray whenever we need something? I Thessalonians 5:16-18 (NIV) answers, “Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” This verse says that we ought to pray continually. This implies that we should pray not only for comfort when we’re sad or afraid, but also to raise up thanksgiving when we’re happy or excited! We can always find reasons to pray, whether it’s to praise God, to ask Him for something, to thank Him, or just to talk and confess our need for Him.

Now one more thing that everyone should understand about prayer is how special it is. Prayer is truly a gift! The living and amazing God has given us the gift of talking to Him whenever we want and He always listens! Martin Luther once said, “To be a Christian without prayer is no more possible than to be alive without breathing.” The gift of prayer is necessary to a healthy Christian life but it also isn’t a hard thing to do since it is a conversation with our Creator.

I encourage each of you to make it one of your goals for this new year, to be in prayer more and to remember to not only pray when you are in need of something, but to pray to thank and praise Him for everything He has done and is doing in your life.

As part of their training in Rhetoric, our students in grades ten and up are required to develop and present a brief presentation to the school body during Chapel with guidance from their instructors and school curriculum. Each student presentation must be understandable and relevant to all age groups. Sowing seeds of rhetoric training by requiring them speak to all age levels has yielded a harvest for all to enjoy.

This week’s presentation was given by Maddie, one of our tenth grade students (pictured above).