“Be careful (anxious) for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.” Philippians 4:6
Every day we are bombarded by new problems. People are hurting each other, shelves are empty, and every cough or sneeze carries with it a measure of fear. No wonder anxiety has become a pervasive part of the human experience!
Everyday tasks that used to be so simple have suddenly become a burden we all carry. What are we supposed to do when life places difficulties on our shoulders without our consent? What is God’s advice for when we find our mind spinning, heart pumping, and breath shortening?
In this verse, we see what God wants for us as well as how to receive it.
God wants us to, “be careful for nothing.” God does not want our hearts to be filled with anxiety. Instead, He offers the gift of peace. While we usually think of peace in a political or social context, the peace to replace our anxiety is far more personal. The gift of peace is for you! Peace is one of the blessings of God working in your life. (Galatians 5:22)
How then can we receive this gift? The short answer is to ask God for it. “…let your requests be made known unto God.”
Before this imperative, however, we find three descriptive phrases:
- “In everything”
- “By prayer and supplication”
- “With thanksgiving”
These phrases tell us when, how, and with what mindset we should pray for peace.
“In everything” – Every moment of anxiety is an opportunity to talk with God. What if we viewed that moment of stress as God reminding us that He is there for us?
“By prayer and supplication” – While prayer simply means talking to God in a general sense, supplication means asking God for something specific. Ask God to work in your life in a specific way.
With what mindset:
“With thanksgiving” – While our problems are very real, we often forget just how blessed we are. God has given us more than we realize, and one of the greatest weapons against anxiety is gratitude. When we ask God for blessings with a grateful mindset, we begin to realize how good He really is.
If the last few months have taught me anything, it has taught me that I have no control over my circumstances. What I can control is my response to those circumstances. We can’t always control our feelings and emotions, but we can choose our response. I challenge you to respond to your anxiety by following this ancient advice from God.
“Be careful for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.” Philippians 4:6