|artwork by Tamara Peterson|
Amplified: Do not fret or have any anxiety about anything, but in every circumstance and in everything, by prayer and petition (definite requests), with thanksgiving, continue to make your wants known to God.
Lightfoot: Entertain no anxious cares, but throw them all upon God. By your prayer and your supplication make your every want known to him.
NLT: Don't worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done.
Phillips: Don't worry over anything whatever; tell God every detail of your needs in earnest and thankful prayer.
Weymouth: Do not be over-anxious about anything, but by prayer and earnest pleading, together with thanksgiving, let your request be unreservedly made known in the presence of God.
Wuest: Stop perpetually worrying about even one thing, but in everything by prayer whose essence is that of worship and devotion and by supplication which is a cry for your personal needs, with thanksgiving let your requests for the things asked for be made known in the presence of God.
Young's Literal: For nothing be anxious, but in everything by prayer, and by supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known unto God.
Prayer in Greek is the word, proseuche from pros which means toward or immediately before and euchomai which means to pray or vow. Proseuche is the more general word for prayer and is used only of prayer to God. The prefix pros would convey the sense of being immediately before Him and hence the ideas of adoration, devotion, and worship. The basic idea is to bring something, and in prayer this pertains to bringing up prayer requests. In early Greek culture an offering was brought with a prayer that it be accepted. Later the idea was changed slightly, so that the thing brought to God was a prayer. In later Greek, prayers appealed to God for His presence.
The Apostle Paul is saying believers are to present worries in prayer, going to God with a sense of conscious dependence upon Him, like the psalmist in Psalm 84...Blessed are those whose strength is in You, whose hearts are set on pilgrimage…They go from strength to strength…Hear my prayer, LORD God Almighty.
Pastor Charles H. Spurgeon succinctly summed up Paul's words saying that we should have...”No care but all prayer. No anxiety but much joyful communion with God.” Spurgeon goes on to exhort us...”Carry your desires to the Lord of your life, the guardian of your soul. Go to Him with two portions of prayer and one of fragrant praise. Do not pray doubtfully but thankfully. Consider that you have your petitions, and, therefore, thank God for His grace.”
Pastor Ray Stedman writes, "In everything by prayer and thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God." I love that word "everything." That means there is nothing too small to bring to him. Someone asked, "Is it all right to bring small things before the Lord? Is he concerned about the small things in our lives?" The answer is: is there anything that looks big to God? Everything is small to him, so take everything to him in prayer. Prayer is the expression of our dependence upon His promises. It isn't necessarily on your knees, or in the closet, but it can be just that quiet, arrow prayer of the heart, in continual recognition that you need to lean back upon His grace and strength. In everything constantly relating to that indwelling life of God the Son in you. Whenever problems develop, lean back again in prayer to the one who is able and competent within you through His indwelling life. Thanksgiving is that forward look of faith that thanks God for the answer before you see it. Knowing His character, you know something will be done. There are things for which we can immediately ask, and know that we will receive. His grace, his strength, insight, wisdom, patience, love and compassion. And as we lean back upon him in that inner dependence of faith which is prayer, we can also begin to give thanks that the answer has come, and in our thanksgiving we discover the experience of it as well."
Pastor Stedman continues: "As in everything we let our requests be made known to God, the result is peace. The peace of God that passes all understanding will keep your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Just the other day a new Christian, a business man, was telling me of the peace that he is enjoying in resting upon the competency of Christ within to handle his problems. He said that the one thing an American business man fears more than anything else is a call from the Internal Revenue Department. He said the other day the phone rang, the secretary picked it up and said, "It's the Internal Revenue Department. What will I tell them?" He said his immediate reaction was what he once would have said: "Tell them anything-tell them I'm not here, I'm out of town." Then he remembered Christ within, and that he was there to meet the problems of life through him. He said his second reaction was well, what an interesting time this will be to see how he solves this problem. I don't know what they will ask me about, but it will be interesting to find out. So he took the phone, and when he did he found it was a friend playing a joke on him. He said if he hadn't taken the phone he would have been all week dodging up alleys and hiding behind cars, afraid someone would put a subpoena on him. Ah, but you see that rest upon the One who is adequate brings peace. Sometimes it is a peace that grips you in the midst of the most distressing circumstances, and you ask, “How can you explain it?” The answer is, you can't. It's a peace that passes understanding. I don't understand it. I've experienced it many times. There is something about it that undergirds, sustains, and strengthens, and the heart is quiet and peaceful even in the midst of the pressures, demands, and harassments of life. It comes from committing our way unto Him."
HOLY SPIRIT, here is my worry. Here is my need. I give them to you, and ask you to calm my anxious heart and quiet my racing thoughts. Center them on Jesus Christ and on His power and sufficiency today. Set my heart ablaze for the pilgrimage You have for me. Because of Jesus Christ’s finished work on the Cross, taking all my sin, all my pain, all my worry, it is by His stripes that I am healed—physically, emotionally, and relationally. I belong to You, I know that Your peace will guard my heart and mind in Christ Jesus, in Whose powerful name I pray, amen.
Look Up—meditate on Philippians 4:6 … pray to see what it reveals about the character of God.
Look In—as you meditate on Philippians 4:6 … pray to see how you might apply it to your life. Be propelled to ask galvanizing questions about your discoveries: "Because God is_________, I will_____________."
Look Out—as you meditate on Philippians 4:6… pray to see how you might apply it to your relationships with others. Let the nature of God impact on every relationship, for your good, and for His glory.
the river of the Holy Spirit…
Philippians 3:10…that I may know Him
Romans 12:1-2…flawless…transformed by the Spirit
Romans 12:18-21…overcome by a Good, Good Father