“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” Phil. 4:6-7
Can you imagine not being anxious about anything? Wouldn’t that be a blessing?
I know very few people who can claim this freedom. Worry is a trap that many of us fall into.
Is it even possible to be worry-free?
This passage in Philippians tells us that not only is it possible not to worry, but it’s possible to have peace of heart and mind! What a freedom not worrying would bring.
Being thankful plays a huge part in overcoming worry and anxiety. It’s key, according to these verses in Philippians, and we’re told to intentionally bring thanksgiving into our prayers.
As we lift up our concerns and requests to God it’s important to thank him on three levels.
First, we need to thank him for who he is, his character traits and attributes. This should be the foundation of our prayers.
Who is this God you’re praying to? It’s easy to lose sight of the fact that God is God. Praying with the mindset of thanking him for the simple fact that he is God, keeps us focused on the unlimited infinite being he is, instead of on our limitation as finite human beings.
We’re not praying to a god who is sometimes capable of meeting our needs and sometimes not. He is the creator God. Nothing is beyond what he can do. We may not understand why he is doing what he is doing, but we don’t need to. He is God and as scripture teaches, his ways are high above our ways.
Secondly, our prayers of thanks need to be a reflection of what God has done.
How has God blessed you? The book of Lamentations tells us that God’s mercies are new every morning. Are you even aware of the blessings you live out each and every day? What miracles has God preformed in your life?
What are some answers to prayer you and others have received?
When the Israelites crossed the Jordan into the land God had promised, the Lord had each leader of the 12 tribes take a stone from the middle of the Jordon River. He told the people in Joshua 4 “when your children ask you, ‘What do these stones mean?’ tell them that the flow of the Jordan was cut off before the ark of the covenant of the Lord. When it crossed the Jordan, the waters of the Jordan were cut off. These stones are to be a memorial to the people of Israel forever.”
God knew the Israelites would forget the mighty miracles he preformed in order to bring them into Canaan. They needed a reminder.
And so do we.
Continually expressing thanksgiving and appreciation to God for what he has done can work as that reminder.
This is especially true when we are not seeing the answers to our prayers at the moment we would like to see them.
And lastly, we should thank God for what he will do, for the promises in his word.
Do you know the specific promises of God?
We need to know them and to stand on them. Keep each one as your anchor. We can always depend on God to keep his promises.
Trusting in the promises of God’s word breaks the back of Satan. He hates the fact that God is always true and faithful to his word and he works to deceive you from trusting in that truth.
Do not allow his deception into your life. Instead, learn the many promises of God, stand on them and then speak them out as you pray. God never forgets, but we do. Verbally speaking them out serves as a reminder to us.
Would you like peace of mind and heart today? Are you longing to be free from worry? Then bring thankfulness to God into your life. Your whole perspective will change when you do.
Are your prayers laced with thanksgiving?
He is worthy.
He has done amazing things.
His word is true and his faithfulness never ends.
What if we thanked God today?
What if we prayed?