“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
Friday we started this verse with focusing on the opening statement – “DO NOT BE ANXIOUS ABOUT ANYTHING”. You can say, “Okay, I should not be anxious about anything, but how do I do that?” Today, Paul leads us into the answer – “BUT IN EVERY SITUATION, BY PRAYER AND PETITION”. Paul says that we should be in prayer in every situation, and by doing so, we will ease the stress and the anxiety of the things we face each day.
So my question to you and to all of us, how much time do you spend in prayer each day? Are you praying throughout the day? Are you petitioning, or in other words, requesting the Lord’s guidance and direction during the day? Paul put it another way in 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18:
“Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”
I will leave you with this: Many years ago, I was in a bible study with a group of very successful businessmen in Birmingham. I was way out of my league and felt it a privilege to be able to spend time with these men each week and learn from them. One of them was the Chief Financial Officer of Brasfield & Gorrie Construction Co. Brasfield & Gorrie is an extremely successful, multi-billion dollar construction company who built most of Birmingham and Atlanta’s skyline and built the Georgia Aquarium. He shared something that has always stayed with me; he prayed continuously every day at work. Wow? I thought how could this executive, who was probably in and out of meetings, flying on airplanes, dealing with project deadlines, how could he be praying continuously every day?
He told us that he prayed on the way to work that God would give him wisdom and discernment. He said he prayed before phone calls that he knew might be difficult. He prayed walking to meetings in the office and he prayed in his office when he had moments alone during the day. This floored me. This extremely successful man was continually praying during the day, every day, despite the demands of his schedule.
We studied a previous verse – Proverbs 3:5-6 “Trust in the Lord with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him,
and he will guide your paths.” If we submit to Him, He will guide our paths. This executive understands this verse. He wasn’t praying continuously because it made him feel good, or made him sound like a great Christian. No, he prayed continually because it was the linkage to his success. His continual prayer sustained him and kept him properly aligned to the real priorities of his life. I believe it also kept him humble and thankful, because he recognized God was in control, and God was guiding his path.
I hope you will take time to reflect on this today and this week as we study this verse.