Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:6–7)
We live in a culture where worry is assumed. We live in a culture where anxiety is epidemic. Look across the coffee shop, the classroom or the dinner table and you will see people who are stressed and unsettled about how things will turn out – energy drained and consumed with trying to control the uncontrollable. This is where we live. This is our culture.
But God is countercultural. Prayer is countercultural. The notions of surrender and independence on God are countercultural.
The Apostle Paul tells the church in Rome (and by extension us) that in order to become who God intends us to become, we need to move away from our conformity to our cultural patters and into a place where we can be transformed and reformed by minds that are renewed, and countercultural. He promises us that as we move in this way, we will experience a life where we increasingly know what God wants and move naturally in his ways. (Romans 12:2-3 Doug’s Paraphrase)
That is what prayer does. It is an active and powerful conversation with God who is our father, with God who is holy but who gives his holiness to us. It is conversation and relationship with God who created and maintains the universe and seeks that his kingdom realities become realities here and now so that the culture of heaven supersedes and transcends the culture of our world of worry.
Peace, hope and love