by Rick Warren
“Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace.” (Philippians 4:6-7a NLT)
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. Then you will experience God’s peace” (NLT).
It’s not easy to stop worrying about the often-scary, everyday parts of our lives, but God tells us how in the next part of the verse: “pray about everything … thank him for all he has done.” Grateful prayer brings peace. God says, when you start to worry, pray.
Parents understand the power of grateful prayers. Most parents wouldn’t appreciate their children always making requests without saying “thank you” for what they’ve already received. God sees it the same way. He wants us to ask him for what we need and want. More than 20 times in the New Testament, we’re told to “ask” him. But he wants us to ask with gratefulness.
The Bible urges us to be specific in our requests — and our praises. Instead of a simple “thank you for everything,” he wants us to tell him what we’re grateful for. When I say to my wife, “I’m so grateful for you,” she tells me to be specific. She likes to hear what I appreciate about her and what I’m grateful for about her.
God wants to hear the same things. So when you pray, tell God what you’re thankful for. Prayer is one of the most important ways we tell God “thank you.”
Thanking God in advance is a big step of faith. The Bible says that 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. The Bible says that God inhabits the praise of his people. He empowers and uses our thanksgiving as an instrument of power in our lives.