Do not be anxious about anything, 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 your minds in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:6, 7 ESV, emphasis mine)
Let’s think about what it means to pray with thanksgiving in order to get God’s peace in difficulties.
- When praying for conflict, do you include any thanks while doing so?
- When pouring out your heart about job stress, is any thanks expressed while doing so?
- When praying for a child causing pain, do you thank God for them while discussing their issues?
Today’s verses are about casting our anxiety. The kind of prayers in today’s verses are not happy prayers, but prayers of struggle and pain.
Even our distress is to be sprinkled with thanks.
I was reminded in Priscilla Shirer’s Armor of God study that in addition to prayer releasing God’s power (what I most concentrate on), prayer WITH THANKSGIVING triggers God’s peace.
People often say, “There is always something to be thankful for.” Indeed there is, but God doesn’t mean by thankfulness that we list the good things that are occurring amidst the bad things. God also asks us to thank Him for the struggles too.
Because He wants to give us His peace.
In our relationship conflicts, intense job stress and parenting challenging children, James 1: 2-4 reminds us:
Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.
So while praying about a conflict, I can thank God for the good memories with that person, or for bringing something to light, but I can also thank Him for the conflict because it is producing steadfastness in me.
And that thanksgiving is producing PEACE.
Let me say it another way.
Unless thanksgiving is included while we cast our anxieties, God’s peace does not come.
Is God putting His finger on something in your life? Mine too. He wants to use the struggle to show us the next layer that needs to come off, the next lesson we need to learn, the next test for us to pass…
so we can grow.
When the anger is pouring out of you, the profanity is flying out of your mouth, sleeplessness becomes the norm…it’s God being kind. He is showing you the next layer of junk that He wants to take away, the internal reason for the ugly stuff that is showing.
For that, we can thank Him, and then stop wrestling so hard and let the trials have their way.
Be thankful always..and for everything.
Receive the peace of God that surpasses all understanding.
Pictures this week are from the peaceful location of Big Canoe, Georgia.
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