In Philippians 4:6-7 we find one of the most difficult verses in the entire Bible to obey: “Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need and thank Him for all He has done. If you do this, you will experience God’s peace”(NLT).
It’s not easy to stop worrying about the often-scary everyday parts of our lives, especially in this age of mass shootings in public places and even our schools. But God tells us how in the next part of the verse: “Pray about everything…and thank Him for all he has done.” Grateful prayer brings peace. God says, when you start to worry, pray.
As parents, most of us should understand the power of grateful prayers. We wouldn’t appreciate our children always making requests of us without first saying “thank you” for what they’ve already received. God sees it the same way. More than 20 times in the New Testament, we’re told to “ask” Him. But He wants us to ask with gratefulness. I’ve often suggested that sometimes when we pause to pray we should just thank God for what He has already done. Don’t ask Him for any new blessing, just reflect on the ones we’ve already received and express our gratitude. Thanking God in advance is a big step of faith also. When we have the faith to thank God ahead of time, miracles happen. The more thankful we are, the more God works in our lives. Psalm 22:6, says that God “inhabits” the praises of His people. He uses our praises and acts of thanksgiving as an instrument of power in our lives.