In 1 Thessalonians 5:17, the apostle Paul tells us to “pray without ceasing.” (NKJV) I have yet to learn to do that. Is it even possible to pray without ceasing? Maybe. What I believe Paul is emphasizing is the importance of prayer in our walk with God. He really does want to pray about every detail of our life. ‬‬‬‬
And then in Philippians 4:6-7, Paul again stresses the importance of prayer with these words: “Be anxious for nothing, 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 minds through Christ Jesus.” (NKJV) ‬‬‬
“Be anxious for nothing…” Wow! That’s one of those things easier said than done. Yet we are told to be anxious for nothing. Believe it or not, this is a command, not a suggestion. God commands us not to be anxious about anything. If we allow anxiety to rule in our life, we are not living in the will of God. More importantly, we are probably walking in disobedience. Instead, he tells us, “But in everything by prayer, and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your request be made known to God.” 

The word ‘prayer’ in this verse refers to communication with God in a general sense. However, Paul adds the word ‘supplication’ which has to do with a specific type of prayer. It means to ask for something – earnestly. The phrase “prayer and supplication” is also found in Hebrews 5:7. While Jesus was here on earth, He “offered up prayers and supplications, with vehement cries and tears to Him who was able to save Him from death, and was heard because of His godly fear.” (NKJV) The writer of Hebrews was likely referring to Jesus praying in the Garden of Gethsemane. In Luke 22:44 we are told, “And being in agony, He prayed more earnestly. Then His sweat became like great drops of blood falling down to the ground.” (NKJV) Those two verses emphasize the intensity of supplication and earnest prayer. 

Paul continues by adding the word ‘thanksgiving’ to the formula: “In everything by prayer, and supplication, with thanksgiving, we are to make our request known to God.” Why thanksgiving? Isn’t giving thanks the normal response to answered prayers? Why are we told to give thanks ahead of time – when we ask? The answer has to do with faith. To give thanks before we receive the answer takes faith. Adding thanks to our prayers shows that we understand that if we do what we are told in verse 6, God will do what He has promised in verse 7! “And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will
guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”

God has been teaching my wife and I the importance of literally praying about everything. And not just pray – but pray until something happens. For example, we have come to realize that if we don’t have God’s peace in a matter, we have prayed through the issue. If we’re not careful, we’ll just say a little prayer – and then go out and try to make it happen. This is not what God wants. We are to stay in prayer until we find ‘His peace,’ a peace that often has nothing to do with the natural circumstances of life. When we find His peace, we know we have prayed through the matter. 

Over the past few months, we have committed to practicing verse 6 (praying about everything), and we have seen God grant the promise of verse 7 numerous times. That is why I can assure you that praying about everything – absolutely works!!! Once you discover that place of peace, all anxiety and worry will leave. It must! The formula of prayer, supplication, and thanksgiving is the antidote for worry and anxiety. It’s a part of the promise in Philippians 4:6-7.

Why is praying about everything so important? Because prayer allows God to work in our lives. In Revelation 3:20 Jesus said, “Behold, I’m standing at the door, knocking. If your heart is open to hear my voice and you open the door within, I will come in to you and feast with you, and you will feast with me.” (TPT‬) This verse is often quoted during an evangelistic invitation. That’s okay, but the context is not Jesus speaking to unbelievers. He was speaking to the believers in the church of Laodicea. He wanted them to know that He was waiting for them to open the door of their heart to Him – in every situation of life.    ‬

God wants to be involved in every area of our life, but He waits for us to ask. He is waiting at the door. That’s why the apostle Paul tells us to pray about everything – not just the big decisions but everything.  James 4:2b reminds us, “You do not have because you do not ask;” (NET). It is often that simple. Yes, we must trust Him, and at times, the answer doesn’t come right away. But if we learn to saturate our life with prayer…tell Him every detail of our life, He will work in ways we may have never seen.   

It is one thing to read the Bible, even memorize and meditate on it. But if we don’t do what the Word tells us to do – we miss the point. The Bible only becomes the active Word of God when we live it! From health issues to major purchases, to car repairs, financial decisions, and home improvements: God has been faithful to move in every detail of our life – all because we are learning to pray about everything. The challenge we all face is to believe God and do what He says! His Word is true, and His promises never fail. It’s simply up to us to pray about everything with supplication and thanksgiving – and watch what He will do in your life!

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