“ Do not be anxious or worried about anything, but in everything [every circumstance and situation] by prayer and petition with thanksgiving, continue to make your [specific] requests known to God.”Philippians 4:6 – amp
I know that in this world, we encounter troubles of many kinds and it sometimes seems impossible to live a peaceful life. However, don’t give up hope just yet because it is possible. One thing we must always remember is that once God is involved in our life, all things are possible. He highlights four (4) simple strategies to living a life filled with peace and gratitude. I want to take the time to break down these strategies so that you can daily apply them into your life.
Strategy Number One
“Don’t Worry about Anything.”
When we worry, we tend to push our minds into a state of anxiety and fear. We become troubled in our thoughts and those thoughts then control our behaviour. These negative feelings open the door to the spirits attached to fear which want to control our life. The spirit of fear is attached to worry and is sent to steer us off the right course, which is trust and faith in God. When we choose to worry we display a lack of trust in God and His Word. We are saying to Him that He isn’t able to come through for us, to heal the situation, to bring the breakthrough, to provide, to sustain us, to bring us new love again and the list can surely go on. Our act of worry separates us from Him as we turn our attention to the problem and off Him. In Matthew 14:22-33, Peters exhibits exactly how we can fall prey to worry. While faced with the storm he shouted to Christ, if this is You call me to come out to meet You. Christ did just that. Peter stepped out in faith during the raging storm and walked on the water. The storm was under his feet. He was trampling on the serpent’s head as he kept his focus on Jesus. However, the moment he shifted his focus from Jesus to the storm, he became overwhelmed by it. When we keep our eyes focused on the problem that’s all we see; the problem, and this problem will burden us and eventually overtake us. If we keep our eyes locked on Jesus, the problem becomes so insignificant that we would be walking on it and not even realise we are still in the storm. Christ’s power in us becomes activated as we keep Him as the central focus of our life. While we do that He conquers the battle for us.
Strategy Number Two
“Pray About Everything”
This is where we turn our worries into prayers. Pray without ceasing is what we are encouraged to do in 1 Thessalonians 5:17. One song writer penned to the hymn “What a Friend we have in Jesus”:
“O what peace we often forfeit,
O what needless pain we bear,
All because we do not carry
Everything to God in prayer!”
When we are faced with diverse situations we are reminded to take everything to God in prayer. We are not able to carry all these issues on our own. We have access to the throne room and therefore we must never forget to make good use of it. At all times, pray, and pray until you get the answer. I know that some answers take a long time but keep on praying and keep on believing. Do you know that by meeting with Abba so often in prayer, you are actually allowing the bond between the two of you to grow stronger? It does. It draws us nearer to Him. We become dependent on Him, we begin to love meeting with Him and hearing His voice. We grow in deep communion with Him and that improves our ability to recognise His voice in any situation. So sis, instead of worrying and crying about the problem go to your daddy with this issue in prayer. If perhaps you are crying, wipe your tears now and bow before His throne and begin to pray to Him about your situation. Pray His Word. Pray His Promises to you. Always remember, we can cry, yes, but when we are done crying the situation remains the same. However, when we go to our Father, who owns the universe and we use His very Word, He moves at His word. Don’t forget, He said to remind Him of His word.
Strategy Number Three
“Ask God for Everything”
Yes, ask your Daddy for everything you need. Though strategies two and three may be synonymous in nature because most times when we pray, we ask for things or when we ask for things it’s done in prayer. However, I wanted to specifically separate the two to highlight the significance of asking God, our Father for everything. When we ask Him for a thing we do not necessarily need to pray. Picture asking your earthly dad for something. Would you bow down in reverence to ask for that thing? Most likely not. I know I wouldn’t because of the open and friendly relationship I have with my dad, there is no need to. I simply go to him and ask and I receive. That’s exactly how God wants us to act with Him. He said ask and you will receive (Matthew 7:7). He wants us to build an open and friendly relationship with Him which will lead to us feeling absolutely comfortable to approach Him and simply ask Him anything. He wants us to feel free and safe being around Him and speaking casually with Him. Sometimes when I don’t know which street to take, I ask Him, “Abba, which direction should I go?” When I need to purchase lunch during my lunch break and I don’t want to waste the one (1) hour I have allotted to me, I ask Him to show me where I should purchase the lunch. He answers and directs my steps. This saves me time and money and I do it with ease and favour from Him. Be open with Him and everyday feel free to just communicate with Him about everything. Clearly, He wants us to, since He said “ask me for EVERYTHING you need”.
Strategy Number Four
“Always Give Thanks”
Living a life of thanksgiving, praise and worship to God is hated by the devil. He absolutely hates it when we live a life of gratitude to God. It seems a bit confusing to him that while we are faced with trouble that we still choose to be thankful to God. 1 Thessalonians 5:18 said to us, give thanks in all circumstances. Do not allow your circumstance to dictate to you whether you should give God a shout of praise. You command yourself to praise God in spite of. You command your body to praise God. Praise God in advance. Praise Him even if you haven’t seen the answer yet. You know and believe that your Father will come through. He isn’t a man so He doesn’t lie. What He said He will do, He will do. Praise Him with the sound instruments and tambourines. Put on some praise music and dance. Dance a dance of triumph. This shows the devil that Your God is victorious. Take the thanksgiving to the next level and worship in complete reverence. He deserves all our praise and worship. Daily give Him thanks. Giving Him thanks daily also draws the focus off our life and everything happening in it, unto Him and All that He is. He is merciful and filled with love and these last forever. His faithfulness extends to all generations. Praise, worship, thankfulness, and living a life of gratitude to the Master of the universe, who is our Father, completely shift our life into a higher dimension, one that is difficult to be attacked by the devil. Put on the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness and watch how strongholds will be destroyed in your life by the hand of God.
Living a life of Peace and Gratitude is attainable but we need to become practical about being a doer of God’s word and not just a hearer.