Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. (Philippians 4:6)
Anxiousness is a powerful force which can break us down, leaving us frustrated, puzzled, baffled, and or bewildered by things that are happening in our life.
I am sure you have heard the expression: sick with worry.
Truly if we allow worry / anxiousness to get the best of us it can wreak havoc in our lives and the lives of those we love.
In Philippians 4:4-9 the Apostle Paul is speaking to an issue that was doing just that, wreaking havoc with their very harmony as the body of Christ. Paul exhorts the Church at Philippi to:
· “Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice!” (v.4)
· “Let your gentle spirit be known to all people. The Lord is near” (v.5)
· “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.”(v.6)
Then the Apostle Paul goes on to exhort them / build them up more by saying:
And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally,whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure,whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things. The things you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you. (Vv 7-9)
Do not be anxious about anything.
The entire Word of God is a constant exhortation to believers to stop worrying.
One of the most serious areas of unbelief is our failure as Christians to face the problem of worry. Worry or being anxious is just something everyone does and therefore it must be all right.
When we worry or are anxious we are not placing our trust in God. Throughout the Word of God we are told to place ourselves in God’s control.
Think of a time when you were so worried, so anxious,that you could not even sleep because your mind just raced with one thought after another on the situation that was robbing you of that wonderful peace and joy we have as believers in Christ Jesus.
So how do you stop it? How does one quit worrying or being anxious?
You can’t stop it just by the exercise of will power. Scripture gives us the answer, it gives us the secret of running the race — here it is once more:
4 Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice!
5 Let your gentle spirit be known to all peoples. The Lord is near.
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 comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
8 Finally, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things.
There in v.6 it reads
“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything . . .” That means there is nothing too small to bring to God. Yes, lift it all up to Him. Take everything to Him in prayer. Prayer is the expression of our dependence upon His promises. And it isn’t necessarily on your knees, or in the closet, but it can be simply that quiet, arrow prayer of the heart, in continual recognition that you need to lean back upon his grace and strength in everything, constantly relating to that indwelling life of God the Son in you.
“Supplication”, there is v. 6 means, keep it up, over and over again. Of course one might always want to be practicing God’s presence especially whenever problems develop. When they do develop remember, lean back again in prayer to the One who is able and competent within you through His indwelling life.
Again there in v. 6, “with thanksgiving” is that forward look of faith that thanks God for the answer before you see it. Knowing His character, you know something —the right thing, the perfect thing — will be done.
God is not saying we should ask for everything we want. Instead, we’re to ask for everything we need. Frequently we find ourselves praying for things He never promises. For instance, if you are up against some kind of trial, or some catastrophe strikes in your life, our perfectly understandable, natural human reaction is to say, Lord, take this away. But God never said He would do that, consider His servant Job. God does not always want us to have it taken away. Sometimes He will, sometimes not.That kind of prayer must always have appended to it what our Lord Christ Jesus prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane,
Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me. Nevertheless, not my will but thine be done.
But there are things for which we can immediately ask, and know that we will receive. His grace, his strength, insight, wisdom,patience, love and compassion. And as we lean back upon Him in that inner dependence of faith which is prayer, we can also begin to give thanks that the answer has come, and in our thanksgiving we discover the experience of it as well. So, as in everything where we let our requests be made known to God, the result is peace.
Something to think about:
Are we learning to confess our anxiety as sinful distrust in the character of God?
Are we choosing to pray with thanksgiving, affirming our trust in God’s wise and faithful care?