There’s a story about a woman who loved to write in her Bible. She would highlight biblical promises, and after trying them out, she’d go back and write, “TP” for “tried and proven” in the margin.
One of my own tried and proven promises is this one:
Be careful for nothing;
but in every thing by prayer
let your requests be made known unto God.
And the peace of God,
which passeth all understanding,
shall keep your hearts and minds
through Christ Jesus.
Let’s take it apart. Be careful for nothing. Careful is one of those words whose meaning has changed over time. It means “full of care” or “anxious.” Instead of being anxious, we should pray and ask God (supplication) to meet our needs. We take our requests to Him.
Now, here’s the secret. It’s the little phrase in the middle: with thanksgiving.
So many times we ask God all kinds of favors. We tell Him all about our problems. It’s good to do that!
But, we forget one of the elements of effective prayer with resulting peace: being thankful. Thanksgiving is an accompaniment to effective prayer. I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men (1 Timothy 2:1).
In the Bible, being thankful is paired with:
- Praise—Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name (Psalm 100:4).
- An Offering to God—I will offer to thee the sacrifice of thanksgiving, and will call upon the name of the LORD (Psalm 116:17).
- Saving Faith—Rooted and built up in him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving (Colossians 2:7).
- Persistent Prayer—Continue in prayer, and watch in the same with thanksgiving (Colossians 4:2).
Thanksgiving is an antidote for sinful behavior. But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not be once named among you, as becometh saints; Neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting, which are not convenient: but rather giving of thanks (Ephesians 5:3-4).
And, in heaven, the angels say, Blessing, and glory, and wisdom, and thanksgiving, and honour, and power, and might, be unto our God for ever and ever. Amen (Revelation 7:12).
Getting back to Philippians 4:6-7, the result of praying and thanking is the peace of God, which passeth all understanding. Everyone wants that kind of peace! It’s great! It’s eternal. It’s real.
The Bible says it will keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Do you want that kind of security? This is the secret to having a tranquil heart and a peaceful mind!
1. Pray presenting your requests.
2. Thank God at the same time.
It really, truly makes a difference. It makes me more content. When I am thanking God at the same time that I’m asking, it’s easier to rest in the fact that God has it all under control. (After all, I just thanked Him for working things out.) It makes me less preoccupied about the answer to my prayer. It calms my soul even before I see an answer. And, thankfulness helps me overcome sin.
It’s tried and proven.
Try thanking God along with your praying. You’ll see a huge difference in your spiritual life and will gain peace. What a blessing!