The beginning of our reading this weekend from Paul’s letter to the Philippians has a wonderful message for us: Have no anxiety at all, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, make your requests known to God. Then the peace of God that surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.
The key is in the second part of this reading: Then the peace of God… It is not for God that we pray: he doesn’t need our help to know what to do. We pray because it is important for us:
First, praying helps to make God more present in our lives. It is a way of connecting, it is building and strengthening a relationship. Second, prayer of petition is admitting that we are NOT in control, that we don’t have to be able to control everything, that we will never be in control. As a result of God being present to us and our acceptance of not having control, we will be less anxious. “The peace of God… will guard our minds and hearts,” as Paul tells us.
Anxiety can cripple us, making us unable to act and very unhappy. God’s presence can calm us and bring us peace. It will not take away our problems, but it will remind us that someone who loves us very much and has our welfare in mind IS in control.
But it is not magic, we have to allow it to happen. We need to pray and by “pray” I mean taking quiet time to be with the Lord, sharing our concerns and then being quiet, allowing him to speak to us, to calm us. I repeat the wonderful wisdom we heard from St. Paul, inviting you to meditate on it this week. Are you spending enough time talking with the Lord?
Brothers and sisters: Have no anxiety at all, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, make your requests known to God. Then the peace of God that surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. God bless.
Church sign of the week: Cast your cares upon the Lord. He has broad shoulders.