Ph 4:4-6 “Rejoice in the Lord always: and again I say, Rejoice. Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand. Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.”
In His book The Burden Bearer, Paul Chappell shares some insightful benefits of prayer for the especially weighty and worrisome seasons of life:
Notice from Philippians 4:4 that God doesn’t command us to rejoice only when we feel like it. He commands us to rejoice always—no matter what our inner feelings or outer circumstances may be. How can we rejoice when life’s dark clouds surround us and the future looks foreboding? To rejoice is a choice. And when the object of our rejoicing is the Lord Himself, we can make this choice regardless of our circumstances. God is always good. God is always present. God is always faithful. God is always greater than whatever we face. Therefore, we can always rejoice in Him.
The Lord is at hand.
Remembering God’s presence gives us a poise that worry does not know. Philippians 4:5 says, “Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand.”
Dr. Lee Roberson once told the story of a young husband whose wife had died, leaving him with their small son to rear alone. The evening of his wife’s funeral, the father took his son to bed with him early, hoping to escape his aching loneliness through sleep. But the little boy was restless and confused. Every few minutes, he would break the silence with a heart-rending question, “Daddy, where’s Mommy?” or “Daddy, when is Mommy coming back?”
Finally, after several still moments, the child reached out in the darkness toward his father’s face. “Daddy,” he asked, “is your face toward me?” Satisfied that his father was near and watching him, he readily fell asleep.
We may face moments when we are tempted to fear that God has forgotten or forsaken us, and those are the moments when we worry and fret. But God’s face is always toward His children; there is nothing that can separate us from His love (Ro. 8:35-39). You can rest. His face is toward you. Always.
Anxiety ends where faith begins.
Too often, we chide ourselves for worry while we neglect the most powerful release from worry’s grip—prayer. With the same stroke of ink that Paul penned “Be careful for nothing,” he continued: “but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God” (Philippians 4:6).
The God-given release from the burden of worry is prayer—faith-filled prayer that is so confident in God it utters thanksgiving with its very requests.
George Müller said it this way: “The beginning of anxiety is the end of faith, and the beginning of true faith is the end of anxiety.” Faith and anxiety are not compatible. And faith is encouraged to grow when we lift our worries to the Lord in prayer with confidence in His goodness.
No matter who you have lost or what you are navigating, the Lord is always facing His children. The question is are you facing Him? A probing question whose undisputed answer is always exposed in the strength or weakness of your prayer life!