Have You First of All’d Today?

We all have a morning routine. Things we do day after day after day as soon as we get up. Things we do first. And that list looks different for each of us.

I generally head straight to the tea kettle and turn it on. I get a mug down off my shelf, choose a tea flavor, and wait for the water to boil. (Yes, I watch it. No, it doesn’t boil faster. Can someone please invent an electric tea kettle that’s programmable so I can set it to turn on and be ready when I get up? Maybe my next post should be on patience. LOL!)

But I digress.

Although our morning routines vary from person to person, they all pretty much start with the same thing. We all have the same task on the top of our morning list.

First of all, we wake up.

No matter our age, sex, career, or race, everyone who’s alive and kicking right now did the same first of all this morning – we woke up.

I urge you, first of all, to pray for all people. Ask God to help them; intercede on their behalf, and give thanks for them. Pray this way for kings and all who are in authority so that we can live peaceful and quiet lives marked by godliness and dignity. This is good and pleases God our Savior, who wants everyone to be saved and to understand the truth. (I Timothy 2:1-4)

First = to place at the beginning in the order of importance. Chiefly.

First means to make it the most important thing.

First of all, pray.

If there’s ever been a time we’ve needed this to be first of all – in our nation and in the church – it’s now.

The natural tendency is to put this last. To try to DO something first. Let’s reach out and do joint services or projects to bring unity. Make a phone call. Write a letter. Let’s give up and move to Canada. Let’s just put our opinions out there on Facebook. Because doing all these things makes me feel like I’m DOING something.

But Paul didn’t say go to Facebook first. He didn’t say give up and move to another country first. He didn’t even say to put your project or outreach first – even though it may be an amazing idea and bear some fruit.

It says first of all pray. First of all talk to the One who has all wisdom and knowledge. Talk to the One who sees tomorrow more clearly than we see this second and see what He thinks. Talk to the only One with the power to change things.

First of all, pray.

“But now’s not the time to sit idly by. Now is the time to do something. The time to take action!”

I agree. Now is the time to take action. But the last time I checked, the word pray is listed in the dictionary as a verb. And verbs are action words. Praying is doing something.

What we’re really saying when we don’t put prayer first is that we’ve lost hope that God can and will answer. We don’t fully believe prayer can change anything. We trust our projects and what we can do more than we trust God.

No. Paul knew what he was saying when he said to pray first. And he did say first. He didn’t say pray last when all else fails and nothing else worked. He didn’t even say to ONLY pray. When we pray, God will give us ideas of what else we can do once we leave the prayer room.

He said first of all to pray because he knew Daniel 2:20-23. And because he knew 2 Chronicles 7:14. He said pray first because that’s what God said to do.

It may look to those who are outside the church as if our priorities aren’t in order. It may look to them as if we aren’t really DOING anything. And God’s ways usually do look strange to those that don’t know Him. (If you don’t believe me, just look at the battle plan He gave Joshua for Jericho or the one He gave Gideon. Not exactly your typical solutions. Hello!!)

It may look like we’re not doing anything, but we know the truth.

We know prayer isn’t just a powerless ritual. We know prayer is the avenue that releases God’s power and plan into the earth. Into our lives. Into our nation. When we pray first, it shows that our trust is not in man. It’s not in ourselves and our plans. Our trust is in God.

Don’t lose hope. Keep your hope in God. He does answer prayer. And He can be trusted.

Imagine the power that would be released continually if we all had the same first of all. If we all prayed for our leaders when we first got up out of bed in the morning.

Have you first of all’d today?

psalm 146

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