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.
One of the things I found most difficult when I became a Christian was learning not to be anxious or worried about things. Every time something troubling occurred, I would worry, or at the very least try to figure out how to make things work so that I didn't have to worry anymore.
When I ran across the above verse in my Bible, I couldn't understand how prayer and thanksgiving would make my worries go away. As far as supplication went - well...it took me a while to figure out what that even meant. So, let's look at these two verses and find out what they are really saying.
Be Anxious for Nothing
In Greek, the word for "anxious" is merimnaō, and it means to be "careful" or "have care," "take thought," or "concern." And the word "nothing" in Greek is mēdeis and means "nobody, no one or nothing." So, we are told to be careful with our concerns and worries. In other words, don't be overcome by worry. Okay . . . but how do we do that exactly? By keeping this verse in context.
The verse immediately before this says, "Let your gentleness be known to all men. The Lord is at hand." So the key to not being anxious or too concerned about something is to remember the Lord is near. Gentleness in the KJV is actually translated as moderation. So there is a measure of restraint on much we should be concerned about when life throws us a curveball. If we are confident that Jesus lives within us through the power of the Holy Spirit, then we know we can trust Him to lead us and guide us during tumultuous times. To dwell on our worries and fears gives more power to the devil, and we know that God does not give us a spirit of fear (2 Timothy 1:7). When worry and fear are your constant companions, you are saying to God that you don't trust Him. I understand that feeling of letting go of the reigns and allowing God to do what needs to be done. You feel helpless. Especially where our children are concerned. But it is the key to not worrying. We must let go and trust God.
So how do we do that exactly?
By consciously taking every fear, anxiety and worry to the throne of God and leaving it there. It's called trust. You either believe that God loves you and wants the best for you, or you don't. If you keep taking back your fears and worries, you will never find freedom in Christ. At some point in time, you have to say, "Okay, Lord. I trust you. I know you have a plan for me. I submit to you and trust that anything that comes my way (both good and bad) is part of that plan." And if those fears and worries rise up to overtake us, how do we combat them? We remember first that God is not the one who brings anxiety and fear into our lives. Satan is trying to do all that he can to take our focus off God. So how did Jesus rebuke Satan? With Scripture. How do we rebuke fear and worry? The same way. Try memorizing these verses for starters: Isaiah 41:10; 2 Timothy 1:7; 1 John 4:18; Psalm 23; Psalm 34:4; Psalm 56:3-4; Romans 8:15 and of course Philippians 4:6-7.
But in Everything by Prayer and Supplication,