Don’t Worry About Anything, Pray about Everything (Phil 4:6)
Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God (Philippians 4:6)
It appears, given the 24/7 news-cycle in our society, that we have the option of worrying about more things than any previous generation on planet earth. Not because our exact situations are as worrisome as they could be, but because we are afforded plenty of other options to consider, both locally and internationally, as objects of worry.
We see escalating problems in the Middle East. Egypt, a strategically positioned and formerly ambivalent neighbor to Israel, appears to be casting its lot with Iran. Gas prices continue to sky-rocket, our nation continues to accrue debt at a rate that has exceeded any other nation in recorded history, and the moral decline of our culture continues to accelerate.
We’re faced with a sagging economy, the increasing cost of living, tornadoes and wildfires throughout the South, an alarming rate of natural disasters, health concerns, the amount of sleep we got last night, exams, relationships, responsibilities, and the list could go on and on…
Yet, here we’re exhorted… “Be anxious for nothing”.
But keep in mind… this isn’t a stand-alone exhortation.
Paul goes on and writes, “but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known unto God”…
And then, after giving that exhortation, he gives the result in the following verse saying,
“And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” (vs.7)
The divine grace of God’s peace is preceded by the divine grace of prayer.
Consider the two extremes that Paul points out. First he says not to worry about anything, then he says to pray about everything. It’s that “extreme” of praying about everything that leads to a peace that guards the heart from worry. It’s a supernatural peace, one that surpasses understanding. So, should the outward circumstances not change, the inward will. The divine grace of peace that surpasses understanding will set a garrison around your heart and mind that will empower you to resist the temptation to worry.
Become accustomed to communing with God throughout the day, while also setting aside specific time to sit as His feet. Resist the temptation to hasten through your day, trying to “fit in” a 5 minute quiet time, but instead develop the habit of continually telling God what your concerned about. It’s not an exhibition of “prayerful complaining”, but an opportunity to cast your cares upon Him… with thanksgiving. Pray about matters that appear daunting and pray about matters that seem of less importance. Pray about things it appears you can’t handle, and pray about the things it appears you can handle. In other words, pray about everything!
May you be exhorted today to believe that as you continually let your requests be made known to the Father, through the Son, He will grant you peace to guard your mind from worry and grace to rejoice always, pray without ceasing, and give thanks in all things.