“Be careful for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving
let your requests be made known unto God.:
You might remember song from decades ago that told us “Don’t worry, be happy”. It was quite a hit back then and it was a lot of fun to sing. The beauty of that song is there’s a lot of truth to it. Philippians 4 6 it’s a reminder to us that God has things in control.
The first thing Paul says is to be careful for nothing. That word careful can literally mean full of care. It can also mean don’t worry. I want to take you back to Matthew chapter 6 during The Sermon on the Mount. Jesus tells his disciples to consider the lilies of the field. They don’t work but they’re clothed. Or consider the birds flying in the air. They don’t work but they’re fed. Our heavenly Father loves us a lot more than He loves them. And what does Jesus tell us to do? Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things will be added to you (Matt 6:33).
Then he goes on to say we should take no thought for tomorrow. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof. Again, Jesus is telling us not to worry about what’s coming tomorrow. Now that doesn’t mean we should hide our head in the sand and not plan for a future. All of us have schedules to keep, and God expects us to be faithful to those things we are committed to, like work, kids events, church, etc. We have to plan our days accordingly. What Jesus means is that we need to concentrate on today and serving God today and fulfilling the Great Commission today. We’re not sure whether we’ll even be alive tomorrow.
One of my favorite authors is a man named Fenelon. One of my all-time favorite quotes of his is “Don’t insult today by looking for a better tomorrow”. Fenelon rights over and over again about the fact that we have only been given enough grace for today, for this very moment. We cannot possibly know what situations we will get into tomorrow, but when we do God will give us the grace to make it through. There is absolutely no reason to worry my friends.
After all that he tells us that we should take everything to the Lord in prayer. If we’re in a position where we might worry that’s a great time to pray. Not just pray “Lord save me from this situation” but pray and give thanks that God is going to deliver you. We see this over and over again in the Psalms. David is talking to the Lord about his enemies being close at hand or overcoming him and then in the very next sentence he’s giving the Lord thanks and praise for delivering his for him from his enemies. This is the attitude we need to have every day.
David also says we should take everything to the Lord in Prayer by supplications. Supplication is a stronger word than prayer. It’s almost like begging but it’s in a humble fashion. A person who gives supplications feels unworthy to do so but they need an answer. So they continue asking until the answer comes. They are not so high and mighty that they think they deserve one, they just know that the person they are asking is faithful.
The umbrella of Thanksgiving over all of our requests is huge. Not only giving thanks for the answer but giving thanks for the to the one who provides the answer. We should be in a continual attitude of praise to our Heavenly Father as we go before Him with our requests. Never take his Mercy for granted.