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 comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
God communicates His direction for our lives through prayer, and He also communicates His peace to us through prayer. We see an example of this in the life of the apostle Paul. If anybody had reason not to be at peace, it was Paul when he wrote his letter to the Philippian Christians. At that time, the church in Philippi was being attacked by false teachers from without and torn apart by division from within. Not only that, but Paul was under house arrest in Rome. He was awaiting the verdict in his two-year trial–was he going to live or die? He didn’t know from one moment to the next what his future would hold.
Paul had any number of things he could’ve chosen to worry about. But look at what he wrote in Philippians 4:6: “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.” I like this paraphrase of the verse: “Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything” (TLB).
Let me give you a suggestion I once heard from my friend David Jeremiah. Take a sheet of paper and write at the top “My Worry List.” Then write down everything you’re worried about. Then take another sheet of paper and title it “My Prayer List.” Now, one by one, scratch out the items on your worry list and place them on your prayer list. And when you spend time with God, pray over those things.
What happens when you turn your worries into prayer requests? Look at verse 7: “The peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Paul was saying, “If you pray about everything instead of worrying about everything, then in some inexplicable way, the peace of God will flood your heart.”
David Jeremiah said in his years as a pastor, he has discovered that people whose worry list is full and running over usually have an empty prayer list. And the opposite is true as well: those who have a full prayer list usually have an empty worry list. God communicates His peace to us when we pray.
Today’s devotion is adapted from “The God Who Speaks” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2008.
Scripture quotations taken from the (NASB®) New American Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1960, 1971, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission. All rights reserved. www.lockman.org; Scripture quotation marked (TLB) taken from The Living Bible, copyright © 1971 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.