The Grace of God: His Word, Prayer, and Fellowship
By Scott Stephens
As followers of Christ, we want to glorify God, we want to be in “His will.” Yet, sometimes when we face circumstances which require hard choices, it can be difficult to know what actions we need to take. It’s important for us to remember that we have God-given resources that will help us when we are searching for guidance.
Those of us who proclaim Jesus as their Lord and Savior have comfort in knowing that everything we experience in life is used for developing us into people who act and respond as Jesus modeled (Romans 8:28-29). God provides us the ability to become more like Jesus through the grace He provides. God provides His grace to us even though we don’t deserve it. Three ways that God shows us His grace to us are through His Word, through prayer, and through fellowship with Him and other believers.
God’s Word is essential because it explains how we are to respond to the circumstances that we will face during our lifetime. In order to know God’s message, his direction and guidance for us, we must consistently be in His Word.
Philippians 4:6-7 is a verse that provides comfort and peace, explaining how God cares for us, and is sovereignly walking with us, during hard times and trials. It explains, “do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ.”
This verse guides us to trust in the Lord as we navigate through the obstacles of life. When the verse says “be anxious for nothing,” it’s telling us not to worry about anything, but to trust that our all-powerful God has the ability to help us in our time of need.
“…but in everything by prayer and supplication” are words we need to pay particular attention to. Prayer is personal or corporate communication with God. God commands us to pray. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 explains, “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” Even when we don’t understand how God’s sovereignty and prayer work together, we should pray because God wants us to pray. Prayer should be so much a part of our lives that we are in an on-going conversation with God.
Jesus tells us that our attitude in prayer is to be like a child going to his father for help (Matt 6:9). As we read the Bible, we understand that God is a person. He is not an impersonal being. Prayer is imperative to having a personal relationship with Him. Through prayer we are able to talk with the Creator and Ruler of the universe about all that we are confronted with each day. We are able to talk with Him about the things that concern us, the things that we need His help with, the goodness that He shows us, and the appreciation we have for His promises and care . What an amazing gift He has provided for us!
Fellowship with God and with other believers is another way God shows His grace. As we obey God’s command to pray without ceasing, we not only pray that God’s will be done in our lives, but we should also pray for others. We are to pray for their protection, for their guidance, and that God will work mightily in their lives. To do this we must know God as He is revealed in Scripture. Additionally, we need to know people in our own church fellowship. It is important that we develop strong, meaningful relationships with others so that we know how to care for them, how to pray for them, and how to show them love.
Reading the Word of God, being consistent in prayer, and having fellowship with others are integral parts of a healthy Christian life, as well as a healthy church. If we truly want to glorify God in all that we think, say, and do, we will regularly communicate with Him in prayer, individually and as a church, expecting Him to communicate with us through His Word. God wants us to thank Him when things are going well, but we are also to come to Him when things are tough. He is ready to guide and direct, as well as comfort and ease our concerns when we seek Him.