• Chris Steele

“In everything by prayer…”

Chris' Corner -- July 25, 2021


Part of the discovery process in Bible study comes from dissecting the scriptures—looking at the parts and pieces, phrases and words that make up the passages or verses.

We are very familiar with Philippians 4:6–7. “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.”

Any one of these phrases would be profitable for research. But we’re going to zero in on “in everything by prayer.”

Imagine if we followed this command to the fullest. If you are like me, we will put so much more emphasis on prayer than we do right now. “In everything by prayer” suggests there isn’t anything to be left out of our prayers. In every single thing—anything that comes to mind must be taken to our Father in prayer.

Those who do this would have to admit we are so inadequate, so weak, and unable to direct our steps (Jeremiah 10:23). We would genuinely believe the One who made us did not place us in His vast creation to fend for ourselves. Those with this mindset would gladly ask (and thank) Him for everything!

Isn’t this what Paul said. “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God.”

So often, humans, in their self-sufficiency, become arrogant and proud, thinking they have done all these things themselves. Then sickness and tragedy strikes and knocks us for a loop, and where do we turn?

We are coming up on 20 years since September 11, which we all remember as 911. The events of that day brought our country to its knees. Most people thought about their frailties and the uncertainties of life. It was hard to find anyone who didn’t pray or bring God into the conversation. Signs and marquees everywhere called upon us to “Pray for our nation” or “In God we trust.”

I remember that scene on the steps of the capitol building when the majority of congress met in a unified gathering to bow for a moment of silence. Whether they were sincere or not, who knows, but they were there with those who were.

If only we were more diligent in bringing everything to God in prayer. We would pray God would move through His providence to trigger some remorse, repentance, and change in our government—to convince our country’s leaders to understand the principle “in everything by prayer.” May they read the prayers of our founding fathers and return to morality and godliness.

May we pray more frequently for those in authority so we might continue to lead peaceable lives and preach the gospel unhindered (1 Timothy 2:1-4).

How important it is for Christians to live the example of a praying people. We pray because we know He hears and will answer. “Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him” (1 John 5:14, 15).

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