Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. – Philippians 4:6-7
Recently I had the opportunity to practice the “do not be anxious about anything” lesson and the devil tried very hard to prove that I couldn’t do it. Initially I did pretty well with the help of the Holy Spirit reminding me what the Word of God says. I kept reminding myself what I had learned. Do not be anxious about anything! Put things into perspective and remember that God’s in control. That my life and certainly not my eternity were not going to be significantly impacted based on the outcome of this one particular situation. And not surprisingly, in the end everything worked out just fine. I was pretty pleased with myself for getting through it without as much of the unnecessary anxiety I often experience.
Not to be outdone, though, the devil wasn’t finished. He saw that I had (at least for the moment) figured out how to conquer anxiety over somewhat trivial matters so he thought he’d throw something a little bigger my way. Something he knew would instantly give way to full-fledged anxiety. He got a little further with this one. Even though I saw it for what it was, I just wasn’t able to fight back as strongly in the moment and anxiety took over.
So this leads perfectly into the next lesson to be gleaned from this passage of Scripture. …but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.
We will undoubtedly face situations in our life that will cause us to be anxious. So what do we do, then? In every situation we go to God. We come before him in prayer and ask him to intervene. “By prayer and petition…” To petition someone is to request from them what we need. Even to beg for it. And as we come before God, in Jesus’ name, we acknowledge all that he has already done in our life and we thank him! Remembering that he’s proven himself faithful before and he will do it again.
“And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.” – John 14:13-14
Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. – 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18