Paul wrote most of the New Testament. He traveled extensively and established a number of churches on his missionary journeys. The church in Philippi was one of those churches. The letter to the Philippians was one of joy. Yet in the midst of this joyous letter we find, “Don’t be pulled in different directions or worried about a thing. Be saturated in prayer throughout each day, offering your faith-filled requests before God with overflowing gratitude. Tell him every detail of your life,” in Philippians 4:6.
At some point in your life, there would be an issue that has the potential to pull you in different directions and make you feel hopeless. When the people around you, echo that same sentiment, they confirm that there is no hope for you. You are in turmoil. What do you do? Instead of worrying in these situations, Paul’s advice is to throw worry out the door. So what do you do instead of worrying? It’s simple; you pray.
Paul didn’t just say pray. He said pray in such a way that there is no place for worry. In other words saturate your environment in prayer. Saturate means to hold as much moisture as can be absorbed. So use the weapon of prayer and saturate your mind with prayer. When you saturate your mind with prayer, there is no place for worry to gain a stronghold in your life. In these circumstances, it does not mean that you saturate your mind and environment with prayer one day then return to business as usual. No! You keep on praying each and every day. Take every detail of your life to Him. There is no trouble that is too big or too small. God cares about everything that concerns you.
Now don’t think that you can go before God and say a few words and believe you are praying. Paul described your pray as faith-filled requests. Why do you need faith in prayer? Hebrews 11:6 says, “And it is impossible to please God without faith. Anyone who wants to come to him must believe that God exists and that he rewards those who sincerely seek him.” So if you want to please God, you must have faith. Faith is the bridge between the request and the answer. Faith gives life to the bridge so the answer can travel from God’s provision into your life.
But faith is a lifestyle of living with God. 2 Corinthians 5:7 says, “For we walk by faith, not by sight.” This is the reason Paul can say, don’t be pulled in different directions. When you walk by sight, you allow your senses to lead you. You pay attention to what is happening around you and you become anxious. Faith is not like that. When things around you seem to be in chaos, faith says you can trust God. David had turmoil in his life. In Psalm 42 he said, “Why am I discouraged? Why is my heart so sad? I will put my hope in God! I will praise him again— my Savior and my God!” When he looked at his life through his eyes, he was discouraged and his heart was sad. But when he applied his faith in God to his situation, he decided to put his hope in God. He knew that God was up to the challenge. He chose faith over his senses.
I know that people of all ages love to receive gifts. In this society, gratitude is not something people do anymore. It has become a forgotten art. Gone are the days when people were grateful for the things they received from you. Adults are ungrateful so children are ungrateful also. Then they bring that same attitude of entitlement to God and treat God like a slot machine. But Paul says your gratitude should be overflowing. When your gratitude overflows, it manifests itself in praise.
So you have a choice to make. You can live by your senses and get pulled in all different directions or you can choose to live by faith and turn over your anxieties to God to whom nothing is impossible.