Be Anxious for Nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to god. * See Note
Paul the apostle instructs the Philippians not to allow anxiety over any circumstance to rule their lives. Do not fret or have any anxiety about anything. Fretting is defined as :To feel or express worry, annoyance, discontent, or the like:to cause corrosion; gnaw into something:
Jesus’s knowledge of this is expressed in the Gospels as: Mat . 6:25 “for this reason I say to you, do not be worried about your life, as to what you will eat or what you will drink; nor for your body, as to what you will put on. is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing?
26 “look at the birds of the air, that they do not sow, nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly father feeds them. are you not worth much more than they?
27 “and who of you by being worried can add a single hour to his life?
28 “and why are you worried about clothing? observe how the lilies of the field grow; they do not toil nor do they spin,
29 yet I say to you that not even Solomon in all his glory clothed himself like one of these.
30 “but if god so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the furnace, will he not much more clothe you? you of little faith!
31 “do not worry then, saying, ‘what will we eat?’ or ‘what will we drink?’ or ‘what will we wear for clothing?’
32 “for the Gentiles eagerly seek all these things; for your heavenly father knows that you need all these things.
33 “but seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.
34 “so do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself. each day has enough trouble of its own.
Jesus is saying that worry fretting anxiety about the basics of life do not change anything positively. They will cause change but it will be a destructive eating away at our lives both mentally and physically. There must be another way to change our circumstances moving towards a more secure and peaceful life . This is the secret Paul is talking about. There are several points both Jesus and Paul make about an alternative to worry.
Jesus advises us to “look at the birds of the air, that they do not sow, nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly father feeds them. are you not worth much more than they? he asks us to consider the observable fact from nature that birds are not required to labor and toil for their food but the creator made a way for them to live. Now we are not birds and don’t live like them but the point is our creator our Father provides for them and you are much more valuable to Him than a bird.
So we see two things. As we consider that our existence is due to being Fathered by the creator god that in His love and ability not only brought us into existence but devised a way for us to live Secondly that we have value. We have worth to Him. anything of worth especially a human is treasured and cared for. He is talking about you, consider it.
Paul explains what the alternative to worry is. He says we are to pray . The word prayer here means to address or speak to someone . The word supplication means definite specific requests. Paul is saying don’t waste time worrying. Talk to your Father god about it and make specific detailed requests about your needs. When my children were young and wanted something they would go into great detail about what they wanted They listed the color size and quantity plus much more. They had in their mind definitely what they wanted. and they expected me to get it. Price, difficulty etc. had no bearing on it. They ask and had faith I would give it them. Once in my travels they requested I bring home to them each a small computerized pet called a Furbe. It was unavailable in the States at that time but readily available for a price in the U.K. I had to get the right ones and bring them back to satisfy their need for electronic pets. Now if I as a earthly Dad would do this out of love for my children how much more would and will our Heavenly Dad do it for us.
Be specific . Vague prayers get vague answers . If anything will do that what you will get. How can He get glory and thanks out of something you can’t be sure He supplied. When you ask for a red car and a red car shows up you know He heard you and answered specifically. This causes your confidence in His existence and His love for you to grow. You have an experience with God that build your hope for the future. Hope is the opposite of worry. Worry is anti-hope. Hope is defined as a confident expectation in something good to happen. Worry is a expectation in the worst to happen. I can tell you what you expect you get.
Remember it is impossible to please God without faith. Faith is believing that He is and that He rewards those who seek Him . How do we seek Him by prayer and definite requests.
*Note: god is not the proper name of the creator. God in this writing and in the Bible refers to Yahweh the English translation of the Hebrew name of the creator.
Exodus 3:13 then Moses said to god, “behold, I am going to the sons of Israel, and I will say to them, ‘the god of your fathers has sent me to you.’ now they may say to me, ‘what is his name?’ what shall I say to them?”14 god said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM” (; and he said, “thus you shall say to the sons of Israel, ‘I AM has sent me to you.’”15 god, furthermore, said to Moses, “thus you shall say to the sons of Israel, ‘the LORD, (Yahweh) the god of your fathers, the god of Abraham, the god of Isaac, and the god of Jacob, has sent me to you.’ this is my name forever, and this is my memorial-name to all generations.