“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, which transcends understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7
This is such and amazing command and promise. Do not be anxious, do not be distracted with care or troubled with cares. This means to have our thoughts preoccupied with cares so that it distracts us from everything else. It means to be “obsessed” with our cares. We are not to be anxious about anything, no one, nothing. Not even the ones we love the most, not even when the need is a real crisis. We are not to be preoccupied with this and distracted from everything else. Instead we are to pray about everything, each and every thing that concerns us – all things. There is nothing too small or to insignificant tor pray about. There is nothing too big for God to handle. If it concerns us, we are to pray about it. We are to give our concerns and petitions to God with thanksgiving, in an attitude of thankfulness. Thankfulness implies we already trust God with the answer even if we don’t see it. We know He will answer. We are to ask God our requests but in an attitude of thankfulness. When we do this, the peace of God (“fearing nothing from God and content with its earthly lot of whatever sort it is” Blue Letter Bible) will be with us. Having that kind of peace and contentment in spite of circumstances transcends, goes beyond, understanding. It can only come from God. And that peace guards, protects our hearts and our minds (“from hostile invasion, like a military guard” – Blue Letter Bible) in Christ Jesus. When we are in that place of peace, that peace protects us from being invaded and controlled by worry, fear and doubt.
So what does this mean for me? I recently have been praying a lot for my sister who has some major health issues and I have been asking others to pray. So why have I continued to worry? God promises peace when I pray. I think for several reasons. Yes, I prayed but did I pray while thanking God for whatever His answer would be? Do I trust Him for the answer whatever it is? I think I still worry because I want Him to give me the answer I want, the way I want. I want a guarantee. I have not trusted His sovereignty. Also, I think part of me thinks one has to worry if they care. What if I pray and then walk away smiling because I trust God? Part of me thinks if I truly care, I must worry. Not so! If I trust God, I know He has already answered so why worry? Worry accomplishes nothing, changes nothing, it has no power to correct any situation. Trusting, believing in, and thanking God, the One who has all power and who loves us beyond our understanding, that changes things.
Father, I do trust you. I praise you and worship you. Thank you that my sister is in your hands. You will do your best for her. Thank you for your peace that guards my mind and my heart.