“Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything . . .
Then you will experience God’s peace.”
(Philippians 4:6-7 NLT)
Former Philadelphia Eagle wide receiver and radio announcer, Mike Quick, sparked my interest during the YMCA 25th Annual Gloucester County Mayors' Prayer Breakfast on December 1, 2016. As a former Chairperson of the YMCA Christian Emphasis Committee, I served on the Mayors' Prayer Breakfast Committee, which plans the Annual Prayer Breakfast event.
For the 25th annual event, we invited Ed Herr, President of the snack foods giant, Herr Foods, Inc., to be our special guest speaker and Mike Quick as co-speaker to talk about family and prayer. Both men, who are longtime friends and happened to have lost their mothers last year, took turns sharing life lessons they learned from their mothers.
Mr. Quick's words resonated with me as he shared how his mother lived a life of prayer, taught him how to pray and insisted he make prayer a priority in his life. He recounted many situations in his life when he called his mother to ask for advice and his mother would say, "Son, just pray." Mr. Quick recalled complaining about some injustice he was encountering, and his mother's response was, "Son, just pray."
He called his mother to ask her opinion about a possible date, and to that, she would say, "Son, just pray." No matter what the concern, he was lovingly reminded to "just pray." Mr. Quick convincingly shared that his mother's advice has been the guiding star in his successful career as a former wide receiver and now radio announcer.
The advice of Mr. Quick's mom captures the very words of the Apostle Paul to the church in Philippi: "Don't worry about anything; instead pray about everything" (Philippians 4:6). Paul was particularly concerned about the disagreement between two Christian women in the church, Euódia, and Syńtyche (Philippians 4:2). Paul's advice for handling conflict in the church is to spend little or no time on the seat of anxiety. Instead, he encourages Christians to spend much time in the secret place of prayer.
Similar to that of Mr. Quick and the church in Philippi, I too have been influenced to pray about everything. In 1978 while traveling from Montclair, New Jersey to Tulsa, Oklahoma, as a student of Oral Roberts University, I stopped for the night in St. Louis, Missouri. During the night the Lord spoke to me in a dream and impressed upon me that when faced with a circumstance, challenge, concern or condition, I was to make prayer my first response.
Ordinarily, I was the kind of person who became anxious and acted first, then prayed later. God spoke to me that night and said, "I want you to make prayer your first response." "Seek first God's Kingdom and his righteousness" (Matthew 6:33).
While there is a host of actions and reactions that a person can take in response to life's challenges and concerns, including those of the church, God's command is to seek his guidance through prayer first. The Holy Spirit reminds me to make prayer my first response ever since that memorable night in St. Louis. Along with Mike Quick, I can attest to the fact that you will not only receive God's favor and divine guidance for your life but also, along with countless others, you will experience God's peace when you elevate the role of prayer in your life. Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord!