Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God. (Philippians 4:6)
Sometimes we find it difficult to ask for what we need. I read once of an Antarctic explorer who was working in his tent one day when he heard a muffled cry from outside. The voice asked, “Are you very busy?” and the explorer recognized that it was his co-worker calling out to him. “Yes I am busy,” he replied. “What’s the matter?” The man outside asked again, “Are you really very busy?” “Yes!” the man in the tent snapped, “What is it you want?” After a moment’s silence, the man outside responded apologetically, “Well, I have fallen down a crack, and I don’t think I can hang on much longer.”
In prayer, believers sometimes are hesitant to simply ask for what they need. Maybe we worry that we are bothering God, so instead of asking we settle for less, do the best we can, and decide to wait until things arereally bad before we pray about it.
It shouldn’t be that way. In Philippians 4:6, God tells us at least two things:
– NO-thing should fill us with anxiety.
– EVERY-thing can be made a matter of prayer.
Remember: be anxious for nothing is presented as a gentle command, not as an option. Undue care trespasses into God’s territory for our lives. Chosen anxiety make us to be the father of the household instead of a child. Of course, there is a difference between chosen anxiety and a godly concern, but every worry and undue concern the believer chooses to cling is an unknowing criticism of God. It is almost like saying, “get off the throne God, let me worry about this for both of us.”
Paul said everything is the proper subject of prayer; there are not some areas of our lives that are of no concern to God. We should come to God with both prayer and supplication. Prayer and supplication are similar, but distinct; prayer is a broad word regarding all our communication with God, but supplication is a direct asking for something from God. It’s not wrong to ask God for things. We ask leaving it all in His will (that’s best for us anyway), yet many prayers go unanswered because they don’t ask God for anything.
God simply tells us to let your requests be made known. Doesn’t God already know our requests before we pray them? Of course He does; yet He will often wait for our participation and partnership through prayer before granting.
Finally, with thanksgiving cautions against a whining, complaining spirit before God when the believer asks. God wants us to be:
– Anxious for nothing.
– Prayerful for everything.
– Seeing reason to be thankful for all things.
Bring your needs to God. Don’t wait until you can’t hang on much longer. Make prayer your first resource instead of your last resort.