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Philippians 4:6

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.

This is a familiar verse but one that is so very important that I am happy to have us look at it routinely. Any time we feel anxiety, it is a clear sign that we need to stop and counsel with the Father. We should not live with that anxiety. We must find our way back to peace. Jesus is the Prince of Peace. Because we are in him, we should be in peace. That makes sense, right? So, how do we live in peace continually? How do we rid ourselves of anxiety, especially in these very anxious times?

I usually look at this verse in its conjunctive construction. In other words, there are two related thoughts joined together by the word “but.” Now, we know the word “but” signifies contrast. So, the ideas are related but more like antonyms than synonyms. Add the word “rather” and that becomes clearer. Or, “Instead of being anxious, through prayer, supplication and thanksgiving, make your requests known to God. This shows the contrasting behavior which is called for by this verse. The verse isn’t just about feelings or emotions. It shows a behavioral pattern. Instead of being anxious, DO this. When you do feel anxious, DO this.

The great revelation of this verse shows that it is by praying about everything, submitting to God in confidence, and giving thanks that we both cure and avoid anxiety. When one constantly takes their thoughts and concerns to the Father, there is less opportunity to anxiety to grip the heart. Father, instills us with confident assurance as we commune with Him. We just need to get much better at chatting with Him. And, I use the word “chat” to indicate the informality that can benefit us all. I am not trying to suggest that formal prayer does not have its place, only that if we are going to be in constant communion with our Father, then we must develop a daily voice. When the verse says, “in everything” it means that we pray at all times, pray without ceasing. In order to do that, you must learn to communicate with the Father in a normal way.

One will see that when we are in routine, daily communication with the Father of our hearts, then, of course, anxiety must flee. How can one be with the Father, truly with the Father, and at the same time anxious? So, we have come full circle. When anxiety does strike, we know that is a sign that we need to run into the Father’s presence. Subsequently, when we are in the Father’s presence there is peace. Life intervenes and the world brings trouble to our doorstep but pursue the Father and His peace relentlessly. Let the peace of the Lord be your habitation.

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