Here’s the way I want us to think about this. Think of a suffering prisoner, who is the victim of hostile persecution writing a letter to you, to tell you how to cope with your stress!
Let that sink in. You are being counseled by a prisoner. Paul wrote from prison to Christians, with instruction for real life; real life back then in Philippi and real life today, here.
“Do not be anxious about anything.” Now – if Paul had just said this much, we wouldn’t take it well! Have you ever had sometime tell you: Just get over it!
Like hearing those four words is some sort of powerful remedy? How do I get over it? What specific measures can I take? And we may sometimes want to say to people who are so free with their quick advice – – Don’t just tell me not to do something; tell me what I need to do instead! Paul doesn’t just say, “Don’t do this.” He says, “don’t do this …. instead, do this.”
Now look back at the verse: “do not be anxious about anything …. BUT, in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God.”
Don’t just sit there and marinate in your anxiety. God has given you this discipline – “by prayer and supplication …. let your requests be made known to God.”