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 ESV)
Yesterday we learned that worrying is a sin. God does not want us to worry. Rather than worry (“but”), we are to pray.
If worry is the disease, prayer is the antidote. Prayer calms us and removes our stress and anxiety. Human beings are pretty good at creating problems but not so good as fixing them. Worry is focusing on our problems and our inability to resolve them. Prayer puts our focus on the only one who can adequately take care of our needs.
Notice that we are to pray about “everything”. There is nothing too small that God is not interested in it. He cares about every aspect of our life.
When we pray we are to “let our requests be made known to God”. We should tell Him what is on our minds. People often wonder why they should pray. They think that since God already knows everything there is therefore no reason to pray. But prayer was never meant to inform God of something He didn’t know. Prayer was meant to get our focus off of ourselves and onto God. God wants us to relax and remember that He is in control of all things.
When we pray we are to also pray “with thanksgiving”. We should recall all the wonderful things God has done for us in the past. If God has been so kind and gracious to us already, there is no reason to think He will not be the same now and in the future. God has proven that He can be trusted. Therefore, once again, there is no reason to worry.
But I also think we should thank God for how and when He is going to handle our current request before He ever does. We should be thankful in advance. When we do so, we are leaving it all in God’s hands, trusting Him to look out for our interests as only He can. Being able to do this eliminates any need to worry.
Notice also that we are to pray “to God”. We are not to pray to Mary. Or to any alleged “saints”. Doing so is sin. There is no deity except for our God.
Human beings have limited abilities. But those of us who are God’s adopted children [John 1:12] have access to our omnipotent Father through prayer. Just like a young child never needs to worry because his dad will take care of all the things he doesn’t understand, neither do God’s children ever need to worry about anything.
In order to express our needs to God we have to recognize those needs. We have to come to a point where we realize that we are needy. We also have to come to a point where we recognize that we can’t provide for our own needs adequately. We have to realize that God is the only one who can give us what we truly need [Matthew 7:7-12; James 1:17].
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