“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God;” Philippians 4:6 (NKJV)
I can either be a Pollyanna person, seeing just the best in all situations or a Scarlett O’Hara who will fiddle de de a situation into tomorrow when I will think about it. Neither one is a good solution permanently, there is a need for balance in all things.
I do love this scripture, though, for it’s beginning, be anxious for nothing. I need that reminder often. When I have something to pray for or about, I can find myself being anxious. Eventually, I am able to give over the situations to God. Place my cares, my anxieties, my doubts into the precious hands of our Lord and let Him take care of it.
There is time when I apply all parts of this scripture to a cause or person. I can honestly approach the throne of grace and lay out my concerns, my dilemma, or a loved one placing them at the feet of God. It is in those times that I am comfortable in my prayer and attitude.
Prayer is a tricky thing, I think. What we pray in the natural mind and for what we think is a viable prayer is one thing. Our God knows our heart. He sees beyond the words spoken and looks into our hearts and into the reason of prayer. It is often said that God answers prayer three ways, yes, no, or wait. I also think there is a fourth way that prayer is answered. This answer is beyond our expectations. As I said, God looks at what we praying for, and He sees the person, the situation that is the object of prayer. Our God sees it all. Our heart, our need, our situation. He is intimately aware of the entire situation.
What we may perceive as a wonderful answer for us, may not be wonderful for a situation or a person we are praying for. We tend to ask for a resolution and a positive action. We want it all tied up in a pretty package with a lovely bow on top. Sometimes that may not be the best thing. That is where faith and trust in God comes.
We see with our human eyes and imagine outcomes from our human brains. God is so much greater. He sees eternity. He sees the beginning, the middle and the end. It’s not that prayer is unnecessary, it’s just that in our human ways we can limit God, thinking we know what the best answer is.
When we entrust our prayers to God, we know that He will work all things out. That is who He is. It is then that we must remember to thank Him for all that He has done. How many times do we say, “that’s an answer to prayer”? Do we then stop and thank our Father in heaven for that answer? It is my belief that this is a vital part of prayer. Thanksgiving and thankfulness is a condition we need to clothe ourselves in. As a child I learned please and thank-you as good manners, with our God we can say please often, but is it followed with thank-you?
“in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” I Thessalonians 5:18 (NKJV)
Today I had news of an answered prayer I have brought before the Lord for years. It is a prayer close to my heart for someone I love. As I hung up from the phone call, I smiled and said, “Thank You Lord, this is above my wildest expectations. You are so great.” He is great and worthy to be praised.