“Do not be anxious about anything, 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 your minds in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:6-7)
It is so easy to feel overwhelmed, stressed, and anxious. We might put up a clam and strong front, but inside we can often be a mess of emotions. This can start a vicious cycle because we can read the command of scripture to not be anxious and then feel anxious that God is displeased that we are anxious. We can feel stressed that we are feeling stressed, which only makes us more anxious and stressed.
God does give us the command to not be anxious. But the way that we move from feeling panic to peace is not by trying harder to be at peace. This passage tells us that the path to peace in anything comes through praying to God about everything. Peace does not come through us trying hard, but praying more. Prayer is a way to take our worries and speak to God about them. It is an opportunity to bring the requests that are burdening our hearts to our Lord. Praying is coming to God openly and honestly and making our requests known. But then not just voicing our worries, but then giving God thanksgiving.
As you pray your burdens to God, spend time thanking God for who He is and what He has already done for you. As we give thanks we are remembering God’s faithfulness in the past, which is what gives us faith for the future. God’s greatest expression of faithfulness is Jesus Christ who lived the life we couldn’t, died the death we deserve, rose to new life to prove His victory, and gives us new life through faith in Him. As Christians, we always have a reason to give thanks in Jesus. So we pray our burdens and pray our thanks and that’s how God fills our hearts with His peace.
Question: What burdens do you need to bring to God? What praise can you give God?
Challenge: Start your day with focused prayer.
Prayer: God, give us humility to be able to bring our burdens to you. Help us to stop holding on to them by ourselves. Give us faith to be able to praise you, so that our hearts might be reminded of how we can trust you.
Jeff Boettcher, Chapel Leader -- Philadelphia Phillies