READ : Philippians 4:4-9
“Do not worry about anything, but in everything, by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God” (v. 6).
Alexander Maclaren calls this verse an “impossible injunction.” Here is Paul writing from prison, in the worst of circumstances, facing death, and yet he tells his beloved Philippians not to be anxious! How can he do this? When gnawing anxiety tears the heart apart and makes a man unable to cope can one be urged, “Don’t be anxious!”? When we’re struggling, isn’t such “good advice” a waste of breath? We don’t appreciate being told to “Cheer up!”
But there is an alternative, says Maclaren. “If a man does not pray about everything, he will be worried about most things,” he notes. And if a thing is great enough to make us anxious, it is great enough for us to ask God about it. Lost keys, teenage problems, what to buy at the store, losing our way, a health need the list is endless. Pray about EVERYTHING that’s the alternative.
And be thankful. A single sorrow or apprehension can obscure many mercies from God. Gratitude gives us focus. When we pray and then give thanks, we are expressing faith. “Thanks, Lord, that You’ll take care of it!”
Help us to combine intercession with thanksgiving, Lord. In Jesus’ name. Amen.