Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:6,7).
At Bethel, we’ve been wrestling through the spiritual task of memorizing a section of Philippians 4 as our AWANA/TruthScript project.
The verses above are 2 of my favourite from the passage– because they offer such practical advice for our frenetic 21st century lives.
Ours is an era of stress, and angst, and negative pressure, and nervous tension.
But the Lord extends a simple promise to ward off anxiousness. It can be reduced to this equation:
prayer + thanksgiving = peace + protection.
Think about the simplicity of the promise:
- our lives are to be immersed in prayer; we are to be ones who “pray without ceasing” (1Thessalonians 5:17).
- our prayers are to be offered – and our lives lived – in a context of thankfulness.
The promised result:
- we will experience God’s supernaturally transcendent peace; and as an added benefit
- we will be protected in our mind (against intellectual confusion) and our heart (against discouragement).
Is there a single Christ-follower today who doesn’t need to be reminded of – and to practice – this relevant, practical promise?
Takeaway: Lord, the requirements of this formula are easy to say, but disciplines I find so hard to live out. Please energize me by your Spirit to be prayerful and thankful. I want my life to be characterized by those occupations. I desperately want to experience your peace.