What most occupies our thoughts when praying? What do our minds most readily turn to when we bow in private or corporate prayer? If we were to categorize the items on our prayer list, into which category would most of the items fit? Our prayer lists tend to fit into three classifications: people (health), politics (bad guys), and peace (no more problems).
Even in our churches’ prayer lists, rarely is much thought given to listing items about which to encourage the church to pray other than just a list of people who have asked for prayer.
Philippians 4:8 can help us to include some very worthy stuff in our conversations with Almighty God. If we have let our thoughts fix on “these things” we can allow our meditations on “these things” to guide our praise and petitions. We shouldn’t just list “these things” in prayer but let our thoughts about them inform our prayers. Here are two attempts at letting Philippians 4:8 enter our praying.
#1 “Father in heaven, I choose to fix my mind on noble things. I choose thoughts of peace and victory. Fill my heart with Your goodness that I may glorify You in everything I do in Jesus’ name. Amen.” (Howtopraythescriptures.com)
#2 “Holy Lord, you speak truth. You are just. You embody everything that is praiseworthy. I ask you to fill my mind with wisdom. Fill my brain with things that are true, noble, just, pure, lovely, and of good report. Transform me from a sinner into someone of virtue so I can teach others. Amen.” (dailyprayerguide.net)
These prayers are helpful, but we can be much more specific and thoughtful than this. What goals have your meditations about things that are noble challenged you to set? Add them to your prayer list. What issues have your meditations about things that are just surfaced in your heart? Add them to your prayer list. What life changes have thoughts about things that are pure led you to consider? Add them to your prayer list. What previously ignored things have your thoughts about things that are lovely become new thankful things? Add them to your prayer list.
All scripture can and should direct and effect our praying. I’m just saying, as we are heeding the call of scripture for us to “think about these things” in Philippians 4:8, allow your meditations to turn into prayers.