Rev. Margaret Minnicks is an ordained Bible teacher. She writes many articles that are Bible lessons.
In just one verse, Paul gives four ways to help people be anxious for nothing: All the ways are easy to follow if people are sincere about not finding inner peace.
In the first part of the scripture, Paul tells us to be anxious for nothing. Then he gives four short imperatives to make that happen. Let's do as Paul suggests in Philippians 4:6.
1. Pray About Everything
Paul tells us to pray about everything. That is in contrast to being anxious about nothing. Nothing should be exempt from the list of things that can be prayed about. Sometimes people think things are too small to pray about, and they pray about only what they think are the big things. God wants us to pray about everything because to Him every prayer carries the same weight. We are the ones who consider our needs to be big or small.
Remember what happened when Joshua's army did not pray about the battle with the small city of Ai. Since the city was so small with such a few men, the Israelites were defeated because they did not pray before going into battle. They neglected to seek God’s guidance and Joshua's big army was defeated by Ai's small army. (Joshua 7:3-26)
To supplicate means to cry out to God by being serious. Too many times, some people treat talking to God as a passing phase. In seriousness and humility, cry out to God and express exactly how you feel.
Read the Psalms to get a good understand of how supplication worked in the lives of the psalmists. David cried out to the Lord when he was in distress. By the time he got to the end of the psalm, he had been delivered and was experiencing peace. Cry out to the Lord. He will hear your supplication and act on your behalf.
3. Thank God
Just as you pray about everything, thank God for everything. People remember to pray to get their needs met. However, they often do not return to thank God for answering their prayer.
Remember, Jesus healed ten lepers, but only one returned to say thanks. (Luke 17:11-19) Be like the one instead of the other nine.
4. Make Requests
God is an all-knowing God. He knows our needs before we ask Him for anything. However, He wants us to let our requests be made known to Him. Some people say God knows what they stand in need of, so they don't make any requests. However, God wants us to ask Him for what we want.
The Hebrews were in slavery in Egypt for 400 years. God moved on their behalf after they cried out to Him. When God heard their cry, He sent Moses to deliver them out of slavery.
The LORD said, "I have indeed seen the misery of my people in Egypt. I have heard them crying out because of their slave drivers, and I am concerned about their suffering."(Exodus 3:7)
Even though Paul gave this advice to the church at Philippi many years ago, we should follow his four-part directive today. When we do those four easy things, we will find that we won't need psychiatrists, counselors, and therapists to help us find peace.
Do the things Paul suggested in the order in which he suggested them.
- Pray to God.
- Cry out to God.
- Thank God for everything.
- Make requests known to God.
After doing those things that Paul suggested, he assures us in the very next verse that “the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard our hearts and our minds in Christ Jesus." (Philippians 4:7)