Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
— Philippians 4:6-7
We carry a burden for revival in our hearts. But the Lord doesn’t want that burden to weigh us down. Therefore, God has given us the prescription for prayer that brings peace rather than anxiety. Thanksgiving is the antidote.
Anxiety has become one of the greatest emotional and mental problems in our society, even among Christians. According to the Bible, we can be free from anxiety through prayer. But not just any kind of praying. We must pray in God’s prescribed way.
First, we need to make sure that we are not holding on to any of our own concerns. We must unload all of our hurts, disappointments, fears, and sorrows. It takes considerable time to sit down and think deeply about our feelings in order to then give them to God. People commonly take significant time to off-load all of their feelings on close friends or paid counselors. We should take in prayer with the same level of thoroughness and thoughtfulness.
Second, after we have given God all of our concerns through “prayer and supplication,” we need to turn our full attention to thanking God. Take considerable time in prayer to thank God. Be deliberate. Be specific. Thank Him for your biggest blessings as well as the smallest conveniences of day-to-day life. Thank Him for His mighty works all throughout the Bible and since the time of the New Testament. Thank Him for His faithfulness that assures a future of hope and life eternal.
Let thanksgiving be a regular feature of each day and each prayer, even as we yearn for God’s greater grace to visit us.
Yours in Christ,
Chuck Hetzler, Ph.D.
Senior Associate, Christian Union Day and Night