Be nothing solicitous; but in every thing, by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your petitions be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, keep your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.
When we say “prayer” we often mix them with worship, petition, surrender or something else we bring to God. But in this verse, St Paul shows us four kinds of prayer:
- Prayer. The word itself means worship. It is nothing more than accepting God as he is. This shows a spirit of humility, to realize, we are creatures and he is Creator.
- Supplication. The word means to bind ourselves to him, to surrender ourselves to him and beg him to receive us.
- Thanksgiving. We come before God to thank him for allowing us to come before him.
- Petitions are items we ask from God. At this point, we realize, whatever we receive is from him, out of his mercy.
St Paul says: and the peace of God … keep your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. He did not say God will answer our petitions. But the peace of God will protect our hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. Prayer than is not to change the heart of God. But it is to change our hearts so we may learn what we receive is not because of who we are, or what we have done, but because of who God is.
This Christmas season is unique in our lifetime because we will celebrate it in a subdued manner, considering the pandemic around us. Yet, in all these, we need to remember that Christmas is about God who became man, to be with us. This is true reason for celebrating Christmas.
It is not the lights, it is not the music, it is not the food or family. But it is God who emptied himself to become like us so he can save us to be with him for eternity.
Lord, I come before your in worship, binding myself to you, submitting my life to you. I thank you for who you are, for what you have done for me and I lay before you feet, my petitions. Take them Lord and do with them as you wish. Let your peace guard my heart and mind in Christ Jesus my Lord.