Years ago I heard a missionary preach a sermon on Philippians 4:6, where the Apostle Paul writes, “do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.” The title of the missionary’s message has stuck with me over the years – “When In a Fix – Philippians 4:6.” He had three simple main points to his sermon: Worry about nothing – Pray about everything – Be thankful for anything.
I remember something else from years ago – it was my Mom calling me a worry-wart. It seemed that, as a kid, I was real good at finding things to worry about. The Lord has graciously helped me and con-tinues to help me face and deal with this sin. Yes, worry is sin. It is basically not trusting God, but trusting in myself. Paul’s words in Philippians 4:6 are amazing, “do not be anxious about anything” [italics mine]. The antidote to worry in this verse is liberating, “...but in everything [again, italics mine] by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let you request be made known to God.” Nothing is too big and nothing is too small to pray about. We have the privilege to bring everything to God in prayer. And we can be thankful because of Who we come to in prayer – the all-powerful Sovereign God who is able to do exceedingly, abundantly above all that we could ask or think.
The next verse in Philippians 4:7 gives us the results of following the directions of verse 6: “And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
Joseph Conder has given us an encouraging word in his hymn “Day by Day the Manna Fell,” – “Oh, to live exempt from care, by the energy of prayer.” And song writer Joseph Scriven put it well:
“What a friend we have in Jesus,
all our sins and griefs to bear!
What a privilege to carry everything to God in prayer!
O what peace we often forfeit, O what needless pain we bear,
All because we do not carry, everything to God in prayer!”