The Missing Ingredient
Probably most of us have made a dish or cooked something but accidently left out some ingredients that caused the taste buds to cringe. Something was missing. We may have left out the salt or sugar, or maybe a spice that was needed. The apostle Paul adds an essential ingredient that should not be left out when praying: “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” Philippians 4:6
He adds thanksgiving as a missing ingredient in prayer. In other words, when talking to God in prayer and asking for His help, add thanksgiving. Thank Him for listening, for caring and taking your request upon His heart and working to help you. It seems to me that thanksgiving is also showing faith in God’s willingness and ability to help.
We are saying in effect, “Lord, I know that you hear me and I believe that you will answer.” This may be the missing ingredient that is preventing us from experiencing the peace that the next verse promises. The next verse reads, “And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:7
Let’s summarize what these verses are saying. “Don’t let anything trouble or bother you. Instead, bring your worries and needs to God in prayer. But also, don’t forget to thank Him for inviting you and promising to help you. If you do this, you will find a peace that only God can bring into your heart.”
What an amazing promise those verses hold for us in this busy, stressful world. Notice the contrast between two of the words, anything and everything. Don’t worry about anything, but instead pray about everything and don’t forget the missing ingredient; give thanks, it changes everything.
By James Shires, President