Philippians 4:6 – 7 “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
This is one of my favorite scriptures, in theory. The practice of these verses, however, is often a different story. When we are faced with life’s adversities – a life threatening illness, financial hardship, wayward children – it simply isn’t possible not to care about those things. Isn’t it great that Paul didn’t say, “Be anxious for nothing,” and stop there? Instead, he gave us something real and productive we can do during those times.
Paul didn’t tell us to pretend our problems don’t exist. Instead, he instructed us to take our eyes off of the source of our stress, and place them on the source of peace. He told us to present our requests to God. We aren’t supposed to pray general, non-specific prayers. Rather, God wants us to tell Him exactly what we want. Do we want healing? We should ask for it! Do we want money? Do we want our children to be safe? Do we want our marriages to be saved? We should ask specifically for what we want!
We should also pray with thanksgiving. As we count off our many, many blessings, we are reminded of the One to whom we pray. As we thank Him for all the good things He has done, we focus on His goodness. And as we focus on His goodness, we can’t help but remember that He has good things in store for our futures, because He loves us so very much.
When we pray, telling God what we want, and thanking Him for His goodness, He will give us peace in the midst of crisis. He may or may not answer our prayers the way we want Him to. But He will give us the peaceful, calm assurance that He will carry us through. He will send His Holy Spirit to comfort us and give us strength for our journey. Often, He will give us what we asked for. But always, when we come to Him, when we put our faith in Him, He will give us peace.
Worry robs us of peace. God gives peace. Worry accomplishes nothing. Prayer accomplishes great things. Worry will destroy us. Faith in God will give us life.
Philippians 4:6 – 7 (New Living Translation) “Don’t worry about anything. Instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.”
Dear Father, Thank You for peace in the midst of storms. Please remind me to focus on You, and not on my circumstances.