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Philippians 4:6 (NIV)
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.
Why on earth wouldn’t we use this on a daily basis? If we have a money problem and we know the banker of the universe, why wouldn’t we make a phone call? If we have a marriage problem and we know a marriage counselor with the tools for a 100% win ratio, shouldn’t we stop in for a visit? If we’re addicted and we know the healer of the rehab of the world and it’s free, why wouldn’t we check in?
But sadly and unbelievably, we don’t.
Shortly after Kay and I reconciled, I was thinking of all the providential things that had happened in my past. I got to thinking about the old R&R boys from my Chattanooga days and was wondering what had happened to them. I started calling around and finding them all by various means. Next thing you know, we’ve got a reunion going on. It overwhelmed me how much love we had for one another after all these years. Everyone, too, wanted to particularly thank Billy and Brad for all they had done for us. A large number of success stories had come out of their sales boot camp.
We all got together. Incredibly, Brad Rymer had gotten into the ministry. He was involved in a prison ministry and was a Christian counselor as well. That one really surprised me, as we had all been such partyers and his father and grandfather had been entrepreneurs.
Anyway, through this reunion and other circumstances, Brad and I started communicating regularly. He really influenced my prayer life. I’d call him with a situation, looking to talk, and he’d always say, “Well, let’s just take that to the Lord in prayer,” and he’d start praying. No matter the issue, we’d pray. On one issue in particular that we’ve prayed about together, we’ve seen miracle after miracle; and I don’t think we’ve seen the last of the miracles.
In putting this book together and looking back on my life, every pivotal change came as the result of prayer. Not all of this prayer was my own. Throughout my life, I had parents and family and friends praying for me. My parents prayed when I was a young man that I would find a career, and I was taught to sell by Billy Rose. How incredible is that, given I had absolutely no resume to even warrant a chance with him? I prayed out of depression and Jim Standard and Kay showed up. I prayed to be able to marry again and I did. I prayed to elevate my career to meet the needs of the family and it happened. I prayed relentlessly to save my marriage and I did. I prayed to quit drinking and God delivered me from it. I prayed to find a new career and I’m writing this book.
It was when I didn’t or wasn’t praying that the wheels came off. I look back at all of the bad things that happened in my life, and I’m quite certain most of them never would have happened had I been praying for God’s guidance.
I pray with gratitude now more than ever, and that has really been a change. Most of my life, if I resorted to prayer I was just trying to pray my way out of things I had behaved my way into. Now that I’m praying with gratefulness, I seem to be in a much more serene, steady place. I don’t know how it works; I just know it does work.
I don’t know why I have to be reminded to pray, either; I would think with its track record, prayer would be the first thing I’d think of in all situations. Sadly, it’s not. I have to discipline my way into the prayer habit.
Here’s your last pop quiz. How’s your prayer life? Are you asking Him with thanksgiving to meet every one of your needs? Are you communicating with Him on a daily and constant basis? Or are you operating like I often do, first trying to manage it on your own and then sending God an occasional memo about what you decided to do?
Will you commit to turn over all of your decisions and your very life and those of your loved ones and ask for His constant care and protection? Will you commit to being diligent about praying for your needs and wants, big and small, on a continual basis?
Without question, this is the tool that strengthens all of the other tools that save my butt. Every time I call on Him, God shows up right in the middle of my messes, steady and strong. He often answers by sending people, and the right people show up and seem to want to pray about it. I guess they know something about prayer, huh?
Next: The Punch Line
Phil Cate is a resident of the Atlanta, Georgia, metro area and runs a small medical equipment resale business. He is available for speaking engagements and can be reached at PhilC@ER3.biz or by phone at 678-429-0901
Printed by permission from Phil Cate, Mama told me Jesus saved my soul, but who was gonna save my butt??? Confessions, lessons, and revelations of a born rebel, © 2008.