Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your HEARTS and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Oh, this has been such a struggle for me to truly believe and accept the truth in this verse. I have been rather snippy at God over the idea of really being expected to never be anxious about anything. And, I will admit that there are times I’d rather wallow in my fear than cry out to God. It’s an exercise in discipline just to ask for help.
But, as I understand what is being said here, I find it more comforting and less frustratingly impossible. Petitions are not passive prayers. To petition means to beg for or request. Matt Chandler refers to these prayers as “help me” prayers; Ann Voskamp coins them “prayers of lament.” The Psalms are full of them. David, the man after God’s own heart, brought his laments before God (some of them border on snarky if you ask me!). Obeying God doesn’t mean that we’re not going to be anxious. Rather, we are obedient when we bring that anxiety to Him. Period.
The great thing is that when we do bring God our anxieties, instead of trying to handle them ourselves, He guards (to keep safe from harm or danger; protect; watch over) our hearts and minds. I need that; I need God watching over this head of mine, protecting me from every fearful thought, every maddening fear. I need the peace that comes when He’s guarding my feelings and my thoughts as I walk through a valley or maybe just a stressful social situation.
Pray, beg, and plead with me this week. Let’s be a people whose hearts and minds are protected by the Most High God. Let’s be a people of “help me” prayers, a people of peace.
Have a great week!