“Do not worry about anything, but pray and ask God for everything you need, always giving thanks. And God’s peace, which is so great we cannot understand it, will keep your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7 NLT
Isn’t it amazing that Paul opens this verse telling us not to be anxious about anything? Boy, wouldn’t that be nice? He then tells us to pray about everything as the antidote to anxiety. However, I have found that many times when I begin to pray about the things that are concerning me, I experience more anxiety, not less. Has that ever happened to you?
Well, did you notice that praying and asking God for everything you need wasn’t the entire prescription to peace? There is a powerful key phrase tucked in right after the instruction to pray, “…always giving thanks.”
Why is that in there? Because thankfulness is the fuel that fills your prayers with faith.
Thankfulness is the language of faith.
Thanking God for what He has already done, Who He is, other things He is doing, and thanking Him for what He is going to do, while you are asking Him for current needs, keeps your heart and mind out of the ditches of fear, doubt, and unbelief, and keep you in the lane of faith.
Giving thanks for what God has already done while praying about what you currently want Him to do enables you to borrow faith from the wells of answered prayers to use for the present need. In fact, God instructs us to do this all throughout the Bible. So much so that He wrote an entire Book about it – the Book of Deuteronomy, also known as “The Book of Remembrance”. He instructed His people to constantly remember all the great things He had done for them so they would not fear but rather have great faith for the future.
We all want the result of our opening passage, the great peace of God guarding our hearts and minds. But the prescription that gets us there is thankfulness.
Sow thanksgiving into your prayers as you seek Him for the things you need, and you will see how this produces God’s great peace that will guard your heart and mind through Christ Jesus.
Q. What are you currently needing? What can you thank God for amid your current need?
Q. What has God done in the past that you can pull into the present, borrowing faith for your current prayers?