The Power of Prayer in Thanksgiving

11/30/22 Devo Image

“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.” Philippians 4:6-7 (NKJV) 

In life, there will always be things to worry about, things that cause anxiety. There is no shortage of troubles in this world. And despite the English translation of this verse, Paul did not tell the Philippians that they were prohibited to care about worldly matters, that they couldn’t be concerned with things like providing for their families, preserving their property, or any trial they may be experiencing. Instead, what the Greek word (merimnate) expresses is that we should not be so overly anxious that we fall apart, become utterly consumed by our cares to the point where it becomes sinful. 

How does it become sinful? Because this level of anxiety implies a lack of faith and confidence in the Lord and demonstrates a high degree of self-centeredness and self-absorption. Here, Paul is saying that we can be free from the unbelievably heavy burden of worry and anxiety, that we can experience the kind of confidence in God that frees our minds from the clutches of anxiety and develops in us such a level of dependence on Christ that His peace sweeps over us. The key to experiencing this peace and confidence is prayer and thanksgiving! It’s praying with passion and sincerity and then walking in gratitude and faith that God will provide, instruct, care for, and comfort us.

When we immerse ourselves in prayer instead of our cares, when we genuinely pray for God’s sovereign will instead of ours and have a sincere, thankful heart, then His Spirit can work in us to free us from worry. And as we do this, as we pray “in everything.” He will give us a peace that goes beyond comprehension, a peace we cannot find anywhere else, a peace that allows us to have the perspective we talked about a few days ago, a peace that fills us with joy and gratitude. And that peace will sweep over us, it will comfort our hearts and give us a supernatural confidence and steadiness we never thought possible, because it comes through the Spirit of the One who raised Christ from the dead. 

As a man who had experienced more troubles than most people can ever fathom, Paul’s words carried serious weight and credibility. There’s no doubt he spoke from experience. And yet, despite everything, the apostle was completely at peace. And it’s a peace even he, a highly educated, logical, intelligent man who had studied the Scriptures his whole life couldn’t comprehend. His prayer life and connection to the Spirit gave him a confidence in God that transcended any and all circumstances. He knew beyond any doubt that God’s plan is perfect and good. 

The peace of God through Jesus guarded and guided Paul’s heart. He wasn’t worried because he had the peace of God, which he received through prayer, and we can have the same thing. Today, let’s thank the Lord for this gift of peace!

About the Author

Danny Saavedra

Danny Saavedra is a licensed minister who has served on staff at Calvary since 2012, managing the Calvary Devotional and digital discipleship resources. He has a Master of Arts in Pastoral Counseling and Master of Divinity in Pastoral Ministry from Liberty Theological Seminary. His wife Stephanie, son Jude, and daughter Zoe share a love of Star Wars, good food, having friends over for dinner, and studying the Word together as a family.