By Terry Hoskins –
“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, transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:6-7, NIV)
Prayer Changes Everything
Paul tells us how to deal with anxiety as we see in the passage above. He tells us to pray about everything. God’s Word also, tells us to “pray without ceasing.” (1 Thessalonians 5:17, ESV) Someone may ask why is prayer such a vital role to the Christian life? Prayer reveals our dependence on God. Am I entrusting God to guide my life by filtering my decisions with His guidance, or am I using my own logic and reasoning to make life choices? Prayer measures our depth of faith. Do I pray first or do I pray when all other options are exhausted? It seems that most of us run to prayer as a last ditch effort, when in reality it should be a way of life. Praying for all things should be a way of life!
Prayer Reveals our Dependance
When we read Philippians 4:6 that says,“pray about everything,” (NLT) we say “yes we should pray about all situations because it reveals our dependence on God,” but remember anxiety usually has to do with the fact that we are taking on cares and worries that we are supposed to be entrusting to God. The anxiety we experience is often God’s grace reminding us to continue to depend on God instead of ourselves. “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 5:3, NASV) Jesus says happy are those who recognize that they are spiritually helpless for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Those who have faith are not controlled by fear, worry, and anxiety. They are controlled by the Holy Spirit who resides inside of them.
Pray with a Thankful Heart
When we are anxious we overlook the key element of Philippians 4:6 which is “thankfulness.” We often are consumed by the present situation that we face. We lose sight of God and His Sovereignty, and our prayers become self-focused. This verse tells us to continue to pray full of thanksgiving because we realize we deserve nothing, and yet God continues to bless us. “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” (Philippians 4:6, NIV) God says stop worrying, stop fretting and start praying with a thankful heart! This is a heart that is bent on praising and honoring God even in the midst of tragedy. As we thank and praise God, as we present our request to Him, He says that “the peace of God, transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:7, NIV) Let us learn to pray with out ceasing, with a heart filled with gratitude, recognizing that God will ease our fearful and anxious hearts.