6 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; 7 and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
Philippians 4:6-7

We worry and are anxious about so many things because we want to be in control. This bad habit actually makes it impossible to trust God and lean on Him to see us through the day.

The Apostle Paul commands us not to be anxious because our stress over uncertainty will cause us to miss out on God’s goodness. Rather, Paul tells us to bring everything in prayer and tell God our requests and to thank Him for what He has done and is doing.

The Greek word for “request” is aitēma which means “ask for, demand and appeal”. Now, making your requests know to God does not mean you treat prayer like a shopping list. Rather, it is about having the confidence to receive what you have asked for because you know God’s promise is true and trustworthy even though it hasn’t happened yet. In this sense, praying is not trying to get God to do something but repeating back to God what He has already promised through His Scriptures and Spirit. This puts your faith into work and keeps God’s vision fresh and alive in your spirit.

The effect of such a faith in God brings a blessing of peace that surpasses all understanding. Paul tells us this peace acts like a shield that guards your heart and mind against fearful feelings and thoughts. Giving you peace is God’s way of wanting you to rest and when you learn to rest everything in God’s hands, you won’t get into God’s way of bringing His promise to pass.

If there is little or no peace after you pray, pray again. This is because your heart is still captured by your problems and not yet captivated by God’s grace in Jesus. Paul prayed three times—until he clearly understood God’s grace was all he needed to overcome any hurdle that came his way (2 Corinthians 12:9). Paul experienced this supernatural peace in Jesus Christ when he rested his faith in God’s grace.

Make prayer the centre of everything, and everything that is centred in Christ will come into fulfilment.

Reflection

Do I see prayer a duty or a privilege?


© Copyright Richard Tan, 2019.
All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the New King James Version®.
Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.