Read: Philippians 4:6
Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.
Everything is such a huge and all-encompassing word. I sometimes wonder why Paul would use it. I mean,if we say somethings, or a few things or a specific thing I get that, but everything? The difficulty is that I cannot understand how God would want to hear about all my issues. I often don’t even want to think about them. Why would He really want to hear about them? What we are talking about are the things we would rather not discuss with anyone. Honestly, it is the stuff I would prefer to hide and hope that it would just go away. Yet, He asks me to pray about it, to talk with Him about it, to bring it out into the open with Him and discuss it.
The other word mentioned in the verse above, supplication, or deisis, has the same root as the word “bind” or “deo”. It refers to, “How things ought to be,” what God really would like to see happening in the world and in my world. If I am getting this right, my personal prayer life should include coming to God with the stuff I would rather hide and talking to Him about it. Then growing in Him as He moves in all the mess I want to hide from Him. He wants to speak to me about, “How things ought to be in all these issues.” How He would like to see me living and thinking. How He would like to see me loving and caring for others. How He would like to see me getting healed of some of the wrong things I am thinking. How He desires to set destiny before me and have me walk in it.
Like Joseph, each of us have encountered circumstances that cast us down and blow us up. Things that are clearly not as they ought to be. Things that are unjust, unfair and just plain wrong. What Paul is telling us is that prayer can right those things when we come with thanksgiving which keeps our hearts soft and positioned to receive. When we remain still in the storm and stop lashing out, when we sit with Him, that’s when He takes what was meant for evil and turns it into what it ought to be.
So much of prayer is about supplication, about allowing God to show me how things ought to be; things in my friend’s worlds, in my family’s lives, in my community and in my nation’s journey. He speaks to me about how He wants to heal those I love and His Spirit provokes me to enter into prayer with Him about it. Supplication brings me to the brink of everything I really want from God. I want things to be as they ought to be. The things that are full of chaos and confusion, the things that bring so much anxiety, the things that are so out of control and threatening. Supplication deals with how things ought to be. That is why Paul said, “In everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.”
Father, I know I need to trust you more when things are not as they should be. I always want to make them right in my own power instead. Holy Spirit, please teach me to bring them to you and believe that you and you alone can make them as they ought to be.