“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God” (Philippians 4:6).
In Philippians 4:6, Paul warns us not to pray anxiety-ridden, worry-filled prayers because worry is calling into question God’s integrity. It’s questioning whether or not God means what He’s promised; or whether or not He can do what He says. Instead, we are to pray faith-filled prayers, and make our petitions (requests of God), with thanksgiving.
Gratitude and anxiety cannot coexist. One will always displace the other. An anxious person is double-minded. He believes in prayer, and believes that God answers prayer, but he’s just not certain he can trust God to answer his prayer. Prayer with thanksgiving is an expression of our faith. Praise in prayer is the door that allows thanksgiving and faith to meet.
Merciful Father, I don’t want to be a double-minded believer! You have shown me over and over again that You are trustworthy and still I struggle with doubt. My heart desires to be filled with gratitude and not anxiety! Fill me with faith to believe that You will do what You say You will do. Help me to pray faith-filled prayers and to make my requests with joy and thanksgiving as I trust You to answer.
–Adapted from Giving Ourselves to Prayer: An Acts 6:4 Primer for Ministry (Chapter 39, The Secret of Single-Minded Prayer by Eddie Smith). This book is available at prayershop.org. Use the code CONPSP3 at checkout to receive an additional 10% discount.
Praise God for his Word that is so available for meaningful worship. Give thanks for the power to minister in God’s name (Lk. 9:1-3). Confess those times when you neglect God’s Word or fail to spend daily time with him (Lk. 18:1). Commit yourself to teaching, fellowship, and prayer (Acts 2:42). Ask God to bless you and to “enlarge [your] territory” with his power, presence, and protection (1 Chron. 4:10).
Pray that God will increase your faith through corporate worship. Ask that your pastor not compromise God’s Word, even though methods of communicating that Word may change.
“Prayer is striking the winning blow; service is gathering up the results. You can do more than pray after you have prayed, but you cannot do more than pray until you have prayed.” —S. D. Gordon
Prayer Points taken from Patterns for Prayer by Alvin VanderGriend.