“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
Philippians 4:6, 7
In these verses we are reminded of the many of us who are burdened with cares. Often times we find ourselves burdened with many types of cares; legitimate cares, cares about our family, our friends, ourselves, physical needs like health, issues at home, issues at work. Also it could be cares about spiritual needs, about God’s kingdom, for the salvation of the lost, or cares about battles that we see in our own self, battles with temptation and sin. These cares can be immediate, something that we are going to be facing in the next moment, in the next hour or that day. They can be cares that are looking to the future, out in the distance. But yet they are still cares. These cares can weigh us down, weigh us down to the point that they can even lead us to anxiety and worry.
In these verses God gives us a solution, a remedy to help us fight against anxiety. In these verses God’s solution is that we are to come to Him in prayer. We are told that in everything to pray, to let our requests be made known to God. This applies to everything; to the big things that we might face, to little things, anything that we might face, any and everything that might be causing us to be concerned or anxious. We are told here to pray. Even though God is omniscient, He knows everything, He knows about these things already, we are still told to pray to Him about it, to make our requests made known to Him. We are not to keep it to ourselves, not to keep it bottled up inside, not to stew on it, not to try to handle it on our own. No, we are to pray about it, cast it on the Lord, unburden ourselves, turn it over to Him.
As we pray we are told to pray with hearts of thanksgiving. We are told that in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving. As we pray we need to remember that we should be thankful that we are a child of God, that we can come to Him as our father, a father that cares for us, a father who loves us, a father who will never ignore us when we cry out to Him.
We can be thankful that our father is a father who is in heaven who is all-powerful and therefore He is able to answer our prayers. We can also be thankful that our father is also all-wise and therefore we can trust Him. We can trust Him that He knows what is best for us and He will give us what we need, the result of our prayers.
The result then is as we pray, even though we have anxiety that we are battling, our hearts and minds can be kept, can be guarded and can experience a peace, a peace of God, a peace that protects our hearts, protects our minds from anxiety; a peace that will settle our hearts and keep our emotions under control. It is a peace that will keep our minds and our thoughts focused on God, on who He is, on what He has done for us. Focused on His goodness, on His love, His mercy and His care for us.
I hope these verses here provide us a simple reminder of the gift of prayer that we have. That when we have cares, when we have trouble or difficulties, concerns in our life, anything that may burden us, anything that may cause us to become anxious, that we need to pray to God about it. In doing so God has promised us peace, a peace that surpasses all understanding.