Been anxious lately? Had that feeling that something terrible is going to happen; that there is danger out there that you are not seeing? Have you woken up in the early hours of the morning sweating, panting, feeling a weight on your chest. Fear is a real experience even when there seems to be no logic to it. For those of us who are anxious, we are usually familiar with the following verse:
Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. Phil 4:6
The verse tells us not to worry about anything, which means absolutely NOTHING at all! Instead we are to come to God with the things that concern us and exchange it with Him, to receive peace for our worry; faith for our fear and victory for our defeat. But there is so much more to this verse that just that:
Prayer: This is coming close to God, abiding with Him. It speaks of an intimate, face-to-face relationship. A conversation where a loving exchange takes place, our worries, fears, concerns for His peace and a supernatural confidence that our life is secure in Him.
Petition (other versions say “supplication”): It is an awareness of lack in our lives: lack of confidence; wisdom; courage; understanding; strength etc. We come with this lack, into the presence of God and strongly plead for this lack to be met. It’s what is called “fervent prayer” in the King James version of James 5:16. It speaks of a boldness: a passionate, earnest, heartfelt, sincere prayer.
Thanksgiving: It is not appropriate to come into the presence of the Lord and ask boldly without having a thankful heart. Everything we have, everything we are comes from Him. When we make an earnest request with a thankful heart, we already demonstrate a faith that understands where the source of all good things is. We already demonstrate a faith that understands the heart of our Father and is thankful.
Requests: This is like going to your superior in a work situation and asking with respect and honor for assistance in meeting your needs, with the full expectation to receive. It is praying authoritatively, knowing what we need and coming in faith to the One who we know will provide. It is asking with the full expectation of receiving.
Known: When something is known, you are making sure that your request was heard. It means you can be bold and make it known in heaven what you need. When you and I make it known in heaven, it is not that God doesn’t know what we need, it is that we are exercising our faith by expressing our need in heaven through prayer.
We are not to be anxious, instead we are to be bold, fervently asking Him to meet our needs, making sure that there is an equal measure of thanksgiving that goes along with our request. Be Bold, knowing that you have every right as God’s child to come ask your Father. Bold, knowing that you have no doubt that your prayer will be heard. Declaring it: that God will hear your request.
Thank you Father, that I can boldly enter Your presence as your child and talk to you in the intimate conversation of prayer. Thank You that everything I have comes from Your hand and that I can come confidently to you and present my needs before You. Thank you that I know you hear my requests, that my heart hears my request and my faith believes to receive.
And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. – Phil 4:7
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