Summary: Don’t let anxiety rule over you, but through prayer, supplication and thanksgiving bring your requests before God.
Be Anxious for Nothing
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.
8 Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy -- meditate on these things.
We are instructed to be anxious for nothing. Or another way of phrasing this according to the text is to not be troubled with cares. When we are born into God’s kingdom, we have the assurance that God cares for our needs and God has a plan for us. The Bible says that God fashioned the days for me before I was born. When I surrender to Christ, that surrender includes giving God the controls of my life and letting Him lead be into the life He has fashioned for me. The only way be free from my anxieties is to rest confidently in His plan and submit to His will. Anxieties will not just disappear when I commit to trusting God. I must know His word and apply His word to my life. To be anxious for nothing, I must see God’s goodness, present my cares before the throne of grace and leave my cares in God’s hands. Lets begin by looking at what it means to let our requests be known through prayer, supplication and thanksgiving.
Prayer. Prayer is talking to God. If there is one thing the devil wants you to be slack on, it is prayer. Everything must be done through prayer. If prayer is neglected, your spiritual life will be weak and what you are trying to do for God will be weak. Look at Matthew 6:
5 " And when you pray, you shall not be like the hypocrites. For they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the corners of the streets, that they may be seen by men. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward.
6 "But you, when you pray, go into your room, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly.
7 "And when you pray, do not use vain repetitions as the heathen do. For they think that they will be heard for their many words.
8 "Therefore do not be like them. For your Father knows the things you have need of before you ask Him.
Jesus instructs us to pray from the heart but also warns us about two errors people can fall into. God doesn’t honor prayers done to show off our spirituality. God also doesn’t honor vain repetitions. This is not to be mistaken with persistence. Persistent prayers are commended in the Bible. Vain repetitions were pagan practices. They believed that the power was in the words and they would repeat specific ‘prayers’ or chant mantras. We see some of the same errors today. Pagans and some evangelical denominations influenced by pagan doctrine still believe that power is in words. They believe that positive words invoke good power and negative words invoke evil power. Words have no power. The power is in God.
God honors prayer that comes from the heart and not prayer or other actions that are done to show off our spirituality. A common question people ask comes from verse 8. "If God knows what I need before I ask, why do I need to pray at all?" We are to pray because we are commanded to pray. God does not need our prayers. He knows tomorrow and he has planned every step of our life. God even knows where our decisions will take us even when we choose to disobey and neglect His plan. Prayer does not reveal our needs to God, but prayer conditions our heart for God. Prayer teaches us to look to God. If I could go through life and never have to pray, I would take God for granted. In time, I would never think of God at all. Prayer is for my benefit. When I pray, it should remind me to stop and examine my life and my direction. I can’t pray to ask God to bless what I am doing. I should be asking God to lead me to where He is blessing.
Prayer is the time I spend with God. Prayer is a very important way in which God speaks to me. No relationship can grow without communication. God must be the center of my life in order for me to live abundantly as Jesus promised. There are many people who live in material abundance and are destitute spiritually. You can’t experience the abundance of the Christian life without an intimate walk with Christ. Without prayer, you can’t walk close to Him.