Good morning my precious friends

Philippians 4:6 says “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.”

There are so many things today that can cause us to worry. Things such as the worries of the world, the worries in our own country, when will this Covid pandemic will ever be over and many worries about our family.

It seems as though worries are always there, always closing in on us. But worry isn’t productive. In fact, it’s a failure to trust God. The word worry comes from an Old English term that means “strangle” or “choke.” That is what worry does. It chokes us. Worry does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow; it empties today of its strength.

We sometimes hear the expression: sick with worry, and anyone who has experienced it knows it is no empty expression. You can be literally sick with worry.

Paul's answer to this is a blunt, “Do not be anxious about anything”. The entire Word of God is a constant exhortation to believers to stop worrying. It is everywhere forbidden to those who believe in Jesus Christ, and one of the most serious areas of unbelief is our failure as Christians to face the problem of worry as sin. Because that is what it is. It is labelled a sin in the scriptures, and the exhortation is everywhere: stop it!

Well you say, Maurice this is all very well to say don't worry, but how do you stop it? Every time I try to stop worrying I worry all the more. You can't stop it just by the exercise of will power.

The secret of running the Christian race is: In every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.

Don’t you love those words in every situation? That means there is nothing too small to bring to Him. Someone asked, “Is it alright to bring small things before the Lord? Is He concerned about the small things in our lives?” The answer is: is there anything that looks big to God? Everything is small to Him, so take everything to Him in prayer. Prayer is the expression of our dependence upon His promises. It isn't necessarily on your knees, or in the cupboard, but it can be simply that quiet, arrow prayer of the heart, in continual recognition that you need to lean back upon His grace and strength in everything, constantly relating to that indwelling life of God the Son in you.

What follows in this command gives us a picture of intimate fellowship with our heavenly Father – “In everything…by prayer.” The Greek word for prayer in this instance is “worship and devotion” to God. Come to Him with praise and thanksgiving for who He is, recognizing His power and authority. Worship Him as those who belong to Him and know by experience that He alone is able.

By prayer and “supplication.” As we worship God in prayer, we come in supplication for personal needs, in lowliness and utter dependence. Psalm 62:8 says “Trust in Him at all times, O people; pour out your heart before Him; God is a refuge for us”.

Do you trust Him that He is your refuge? He will not cast out anyone who comes to Him. You can tell Him everything. He knows it already and loves you. So come, pour out your heart before Him. Lay your burdens on Him. Weep in His arms and let Him restore your soul. Then, a song of thanksgiving to God will return to your heart and be on your lips.

Let your “requests” be made known to God. You have poured out your cares and worries to your Father, and now for the requests. What will you ask of Him? The requests we make reveal our faith in Jesus and our desire for His will in our lives.

Jesus told His disciples in John 16:23-24, “Truly, truly, I say to you, whatever you ask of the Father in My name, He will give it to you. Until now you have asked nothing in My name. Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full”.

Do you hear the loving tone of these words? Don’t be afraid to ask. Our life in Christ is one of asking always and His answers give us such joy! Jesus laid down His life that we might have as the seal on our requests, His name that is above every name.

With joyful expectation we can make our requests, knowing that through our Lord Jesus we are reconciled to God and are welcomed at the throne of grace. Let your requests be made known to God . . . and His peace that is beyond intellect, emotion, or circumstance – the peace of God that surpasses understanding – will be yours.

John 14 verse 27 says “Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid”.

This peace will “guard” our hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.

So my precious friends, keep on talking to God even if you cannot see His hands moving. Have faith and believe that He is already doing something great behind all the struggles that you encounter.

Let us pray:

Dear Lord, thank You that You know all things and that You know everything about me. Thank You that You hold today in Your hand and my future is secure in You. Thank You that I can cast all my cares upon You, for You care for me. Keep me from anxious thoughts and help me to train my mind on Jesus for I want to depend on You in all things, not only today but in the days that lie ahead. I confess that I so often prefer worry over prayer. Thank you that you invite me to cast all my cares upon You. I pray that I may learn to do that with a heart of continual thanksgiving. This I pray in Jesus' name, AMEN

Much love from Maurice and Margaret