From: Rich Carlson
Date: April 24, 2020
Subject: It's April 24; Good Morning Union

Today is brought to you by the letter "P"

PRAY without ceasing.”        1 Thessalonians 5:17

So here’s my journey with prayer currently. Since I got a round of golf in this week I’ll relate it to my game; you can apply it to your life! When I get ready to hit the ball I used to pray, “God, help me at least find the ball after I hit it.” I was pretty bad! As I improved I used to pray, “God, help me make a good shot.” I found that request was full of selfishness when I had to ask myself, “Why do I want a good shot?” Was it to impress the others, or to beat them? Why a good shot? I’m still not ready to quit my job and join the PGA but I no longer pray about my game. I don’t pray for a good shot, I pray about my attitude as I play the game. If I hit a good shot I don’t want to boast; when I hit a bad shot I don’t want to get angry. Now I pray, “Lord, if it’s a bad shot help me not give up; and if it’s a good shot help me to shut up!” I no longer pray for things, I pray for my response to things.

And though today’s verse is about prayer, let me share the entire verse with you-- “Rejoice ever more, PRAY without ceasing, in everything give thanks. For THIS is the will of God.”1 Thessalonians 5:16-18. In this triad, the middle of which is about prayer, I see evidence of understanding a sometimes evasive concept called the “will of God.” It’s an interesting word study, by the way, that I found very insightful about God. Google “will of God” and see the list of texts that actually say what God’s will is.

I often struggle with the concept of prefacing too many of life’s decisions with, "I’ve prayed about it and I believe this (whatever it is) is God’s will.” Most of the time it turns out it was really my will that I want God to bless more than God’s will that I was trying to follow.

If it’s important to God, it’s clear in His word, and today I see three very clear things I know from these verses this morning that are definitely God’s will:

  1. To rejoice
  2. To pray
  3. To give thanks

I wonder, if that was all I knew about “God’s will” and I just chose to live my life according to “God’s will,” what difference would it make in my life?  And, just for added support on the clarity of “God’s will” in the Bible, let me add 2 Peter 3:9, and what God’s will is NOT. “It is NOT His will that ANY should perish, but that ALL should come to repentance.”

Have a great day clarifying and carrying out God’s will in your life,

Pastor Rich

Quote for the day:      “Prayer does not fit us for the greater work; it is the greater work.”         Oswald Chambers

Hymn with a “P”         Peace, Peace, Wonderful Peace”

PS        Tonight at 6 pm "Hope Awakens." Join John Bradshaw, our first speaker of the school year (remember last August when life was "normal!?") as he shares a message of hope in this troubled time. You can learn more about it at It's free but you do need to register to watch them. You can register at Tonight the topic is "From Failure to Victory.”

PPS      Join Jordi tonight @ 7 for Praise and Worship. Instagram Live @ the.well.worship