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Request and Rest

Be careful for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving 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.  Philippians 4:6-7 (KJV)

Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything; tell God your needs, and don’t forget to thank him for his answers.  If you do this, you will experience God’s peace, which is far more wonderful than the human mind can understand.  His peace will keep your thoughts and your hearts quiet and at rest as you trust in Christ Jesus.  Philippians 4:6-7 (TLB)

When faced with a challenge or crisis, our tendency is sometimes to get all anxious about it.  But God does not want us to reach this way.  He does not want us to be anxious about anything.  He wants us to go to Him in prayer and supplication, telling Him what we need and thanking Him for the answer.  He wants us to request and then rest in the assurance that He is able to answer.

Entertain no anxious cares, but throw them all upon God.  Philippians 4:6-7 (Lightfoot)

The word ‘cares’ refers to a troubled state of mind resulting from concern about current or potential difficulties.  It comes from an Old English word that means ‘to strangle’ and paints the picture of being pulled in different directions.  “Be careful for nothing.”  In the original Greek sentence Paul places the word “nothing” at the beginning for emphasis.  “Nothing” literally means ‘not even one thing’.  Peter offered similar advice writing:

Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time.  Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.  1 Peter 5:6-7 (NIV)

The word for “requests” in today’s passage refers to detailed prayer about specific issues.  We need to learn to pray specifically and not in generalities.  We should never be afraid to approach God with the special needs of life.  Cultivate the habit of referring gall things, great or small, to God in prayer.  Is it not breathtaking to hear Jesus say, “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.”  Is it not reassuring to hear Him say, “Come unto Me, all ye that labour and are heavy-laden, and I will give you rest … and ye shall find rest unto your souls”?

So request and rest today.