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 (Philippians 4:6-7).
Did you notice the first phrase of this passage? We are exhorted to be anxious for nothing, but to pray and be thankful for everything. As we consider Thanksgiving and our minds are focused on gratitude, I want to give you a challenge for today and this week: Pray about everything with thanksgiving. Here’s what I mean.
A typical prayer can go something like this: “Lord, you know I need that job and would you supply my need? And Lord, you know my grandmother is sick, and would you heal her? And Lord, please save my brother so we can go to heaven together.”
My challenge is for us to not focus solely on the requests which can cause us to be man-centered in our praying, but focus on God Who hears and answers prayer, and give Him thanks. For instance, taking the same prayer example above, look at that prayer filled with gratitude and praise.
“Heavenly Father, what a blessing to know that You hear and answer prayer, that Your ear is open to the cry of the righteous. What a blessing to know that everything that is on my heart, You are already aware of and have the need already met by your grace and for Your glory! Now, Lord, you know about my need for a job, and I want to thank You right now that in Your time and in Your way, You will provide what I need because ‘As for God, His way is perfect.’ Your grace is sufficient. Also, I want praise You that You are near and dear to my grandmother in her illness. May she learn all You have for her through this sickness, and thank You for strength that You will give her during these days. May in the multitude of her thoughts, Your comforts be her delight that each moment she will think on You and rejoice and be encouraged! And most of all, how wonderful to know that You have sent Your Son to die for my brother that he might have eternal life through believing in Jesus’ name! Thank You that You are not willing that He would perish but come to repentance. So, Lord, I am thanking You now for my salvation and for the day my brother will receive Christ as his Lord and Savior! How marvelous to know that my God is able, and He is faithful!!
See the difference in prayers focused on thanksgiving and praise as opposed to just simply wanting something done, even if it is good thing?
Try it this week. You will be so wrapped up in Who God is, thanking Him through your supplications, that anxiety will be removed and your heart will flood over with joy and thanksgiving!
When you finish praying, take a listen and rejoice! You might shed a tear, raise a hand, or shout “Glory to God!” I Have Been Blessed