Honest confession: I’m feeling anxious. I continue to remind myself that I must put the fretting aside, focus my thoughts, and work on my holiday to do list. However, I continue to check my iPhone for a text or phone message. “Why?” We are waiting for our 6th grandchild to be born. It doesn’t seem to bother babies that their family members are anxious to meet them, hold them, and coo over them. Sometimes they arrive earlier than expected, while others make us wait past their much anticipated due date. And so… we are waiting!
“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made know to God.” ~Philippians 4:6
I’ve been reflecting on this verse in Philippians and two verses in 1 Thessalonians this week. Together, these verses reinforce an important spiritual discipline. I can choose to release my anxious thoughts, pray fervently, and offer words of thanks to the Lord. The Lord is omniscient and I can trust His perfect timing … for the arrival of this baby and for every other detail in my life. My worry or fret will not change the timing or the master plan.
The apostle Paul wrote to the churches in Thessalonica and Philippi and shared this similar message – pray and give thanks. He first wrote in 51 A.D. to believers at Thessalonica and then 10 years later he instructed the church in Philippi to “be anxious for nothing, but instead, offer your earnest prayers with thanksgiving.” This is an important practice since Paul gave these written instructions two different times, 10 years apart. People struggle with giving thanks – We are not naturally thankful creatures.
I want to use my heart, soul, and mind to focus on fervent prayer. I want to freely speak words of thanks to the Lord. This is God’s will for me. It’s my desire to express gratitude to the Lord for His unending mercies.
“Pray without ceasing; in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” ~1 Thessalonians 5:17-18