6 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; 7 and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
One could spend years on this passage alone, wondering at just what Paul meant and if it could possibly be pulled off anyway.
Sometimes it is almost impossible to get past the first few words of this passage “Be anxious for nothing”
Can a mortal human, fallen, sinful, fleshly, person, filled with constant doubt and fears, surrounded by unknown, mean-spirited things, people, principalities, even think about not being anxious or worried.
For some it is financial, for some family. It seems that just breathing and being alive brings some form of anxiety and trouble.
What is the answer? Well I am glad you asked,
This passage tells us to be anxious for nothing, don’t worry
but in EVERY circumstance, EVERY situation, EVERY hour, EVERY day – PRAY!!!!!
Pray about, for, and in spite of everything (prayer and supplication and thanksgiving)
Plead before the Lord when need be and be thankful in all things – WHY? because we have a loving God who listens and He is watching over us at all times
He wants us to wonder, He wants us to doubt sometimes, He wants us to question Him
He wants us to talk to Him. You don’t have to lock yourself up in a closet just to pray – even though that is good and we need complete alone time with God, but we can pray all throughout the day as we go about tasks at work, at home, in the car, or in silent prayer time before His throne
He just wants us to come to Him
For our own good
“7and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”
To guard our hearts and minds. To be filled and surrounded by the precious peace from God
Prayer has always been a problem for believers
Even in Jesus time
Luke 11:5-9 The friend who comes at night
We have a misplaced concept from this parable
Most people have always made the interpretation that God will not always answer us or that He will only answer us after repeated requests through tenacity
and persistence. In other words, we He answers prayer when we finally wear Him down.
Here it refers to shameless, boldness, more than tenacity
Jesus’ point is that in prayer, the disciple is to be bold when praying to God. In those times a home would be no more than a small one room house
The father and mother would sleep on a raised platform in the house and the children would probably have a smaller one next to the parents.
When it was cold they would bring some of their animals into the house to keep them warm.
The idea here is to convey that the man would have to get up out of his bed and walk the way across the room to open the door
and in the process, disturb every animal and small child in the house
Because of the friend’s persistence(who keeps knocking), he will eventually get up and come to the door.
People assume that God is the sleeping man in the house and we are outside knocking on the door
So then the conclusion is made that we need to knock at the door persistently in asking for what we need.
God cannot fully be evaluated as the man because how much more would He do for us than any earthly man? (Luke 11:13)
In this parable, we, as true Christians would be in the house with our Father not knocking at the door
But we can identify with the friend at the door
1) We need to pray specifically
This man came with a specific request
This shows that we must spend time in thought before prayer
Many times we don’t stop and think before we pray
2) We need to pray persistently
3) We need to pray confidently
The man at the door got what he asked for
Wisdom is the application of knowledge to life
We must pray for things we know are in His will
“Teach me a new passage of scripture”
“Bring a friend into my life who I can bless”
These are 3 different levels of purpose for prayer in terms of what we are seeking
We look to the mystery that lies before us in that opportunity
These 3 levels are an increasing intensity of prayer
We seek His mind about that opportunity
Seeking leads to knocking1) Asking
We begin asking God about an opportunity
Asking leads to seeking
We zero in on the possibilities 11:9
Continue asking, continue seeking, continue knocking
What is the difference? This is a barometer of our need. Not that we need to wear God down but that we need to pray especially for what we have need of, whatever is wearing on our soul and spirit.