This popular verse is very commonly quoted, and for good reason. After all, it tells us that we may come to God with any request we can think up, and who doesn’t like the idea of coming to the creator of the universe with a wish list? However as performing artists, is there a deeper message to us?
In an industry that is built upon auditions and placements of honor where competition is not only encouraged but mandatory, we as Christian artists are often put in a place of desiring roles or parts at the expense of our fellow performers. We know we must love our neighbors, but when it comes down to it we really want that role. Who hasn’t murmured that hurried prayer before the results of the auditions were posted? You know, the one where you promise God you’ll go to the deepest jungles of Brazil or dedicate your life to abstinence if only He’ll give you first chair in the orchestra. It’s a natural human reaction to want the best for yourself, to succeed and make those around you proud.
And yet, in our Christian’s walk, our duty is to put others’ wants before our own, and sometimes that means in the dream role. Note the last sentence of this verse, “With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.” God is saying here that yes! You can come to him with any request, and so you should use that gift to pray for others! It’s kinda like being told you will be given a million dollars, but only if you spend it on other people. And yet, if it is greater to serve others than ourselves (1 Peter 4:10, Acts 20:35, Mark 10:44-45) we can trust in the fact that coming to God on behalf of others’ will not only bless them, but also give us greater peace and joy than self-serving pursuit can accomplish.
With this in mind, take time today to pray always in the Spirit, with all kinds of requests, and remember your fellows before yourself.