When we pray with rejoicing and thanksgiving, we will experience a peace that “surpasses our highest possible imaginations.”
Connecting With God
by Lyndelle Brower Chiomenti
There are many ways for us to connect with God. Perhaps one of the most common of these ways is through prayer. Unfortunately, because it is so common, our prayers run the risk of becoming either daily shopping lists of items that need doing or getting, or manipulative attempts to influence what happens in our lives.1
Paul’s concept of prayer, however, releases us from the tyranny of such prayers: “Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice! Let your gentleness be known to all men. The Lord is at hand. Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus” (Phil. 4:4–7, NKJV).
Now let’s unpack what these verses teach us:
- Rather than approaching God with a list of our desires and needs, we should approach Him with great rejoicing. After all, He loves us so much that He sent His Son to die for our sins!
- Are you worried? Anxious? Then by all means, pray! But pray with thanksgiving that God is there for you, that He hears you, that He cares, and that He will answer your prayer. This thanksgiving “is a necessary accompaniment of prayer, and ought never to be absent from our devotions. It helps to remind us of past mercies and prepares us to receive further blessings.”2 It lifts us above our worries and helps us to focus on our Savior (see Matthew 6:25–34).
- When we pray with rejoicing and thanksgiving, we will experience a peace that “surpasses our highest possible imaginations.”3 Such peace is a result of knowing that God has heard our prayers and is in control of our lives. This peace will guard our hearts from further anxiety and keep us close to Christ.
To learn more about prayer, use a good concordance to see what the Bible has to say about it. Also read the chapter, “The Privilege of Prayer” in the book Steps to Christ. And remember—revival and reformation cannot take place without it!
1. M. Robert Mulholland Jr., Invitation to a Journey (Downers Grove, Ill.: InterVarsity Press, 1993), p. 105.
2. The SDA Bible Commentary, vol. 7, 2nd ed., p. 176.