“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.”
Reading this passage today had me mulling the different parts of these verses – my part and God’s part. My part is to “be anxious for nothing.” This is an imperative, a command. In other words, “stop being anxious!” This is a conscious choice. Anxiety is when you are constantly overanalyzing, constantly thinking through scenarios in your head. This is a command to stop doing that! However, Paul knows that our minds will just continue to analyze unless we fill them with something else, so the second part of what we are to do is to “let [our] requests be made known to God”. This turns our focus off of ourselves and onto God. It focuses our perspective, changing it to HIS glory, even while we still let Him know what we desire. It also commands that we thank God in the midst of it. Thank Him for what He has done, thank Him for what He is doing, thank Him for what He is going to do in the situation. This reminds me of Deuteronomy where it says throughout the book, “you shall rejoice.” Once again, an imperative! This is choosing to be thankful despite circumstances, despite feelings, despite, emotions.
The second half is God’s part. He will give us peace that “surpasses all understanding” and that peace will “guard your hearts and minds”. This word “guard” is the same idea as fortify or protect. Which one of us doesn’t need our hearts and minds fortified? They need to be guarded against doubts, fears, and often dreams and wishes. Each of these things can be good when held in the proper position, but they can also be terribly dangerous.
Oh Lord, if I am faithful to do my part, please be faithful to do Yours!
Entry for November 20th
“Talk to God about whatever may be pressuring you and then commit the entire matter into His hands. Do this so that you will be free from the confusion, conflicts and cares that fill the world today. In fact, anytime you are preparing to do something, undergoing some trial or simply pursuing your normal business, tell the Father about it. Acquaint Him with it; yes, even burden Him with it, and you will have put the cares and concerns of the matter behind you. From that point forward, exercise quiet, sweet diligence in your work, recognizing your dependence on Him to carry the matter for you. Commit your cares and yourself with them, as one burden to your God.” R. Leighton
“There is no power like that of prevailing prayer – of Abraham pleading for Sodom, Jacob wrestling in the stillness of the night, Moses standing in the breach, Hannah intoxicated with sorrow, David heartbroken with remorse and grief, Jesus in sweat of blood. Such prayer prevails. It turns ordinary mortals into men of power. It brings power. It brings fire. It brings rain. It brings life. It brings God.”