“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God”
“but in everything by prayer”
“But” shows strong contrast. In counter-distinction to worry, pray about it. “Everything” cancels out the previous “nothing.” Pray about everything. Be anxious about nothing. Bring every single thing to the Lord in prayer: little things, big things, medium-sized things, trivial things, gigantic things. Nothing is too large to pray about; nothing is too small to pray about. So “everything” is a corollary to “nothing” in the phrase “Be anxious for nothing.”
Prayer is always a faith exercise. The remedy for worry is prayer. People who worry the most pray the least. “In everything” means in every circumstance of life. There is nothing that we face in life we cannot take to God. Prayer is the mechanism of placing our needs in God’s hands. When we believe God’s Word saying that He meets us in our need, we pray.
It is one thing to know worry is wrong, but it is another thing to stop worrying. After the command (“Be anxious for nothing”) comes the solution. The solution to worry is to recognize that we cannot solve many of the apprehensions we face—only God can. When we worry, we deny God’s sovereignty. We assume that sovereignty to ourselves. If God is not sovereign, we’d better worry. If God is alive and well, there is no need to worry.
The word “everything” suggests that there is no situation we face that is not open to God’s interest. “Everything” is a term of panacea. Prayer is a panacea for anything we face. People say there are no panaceas anymore. God teaches us that there is a panacea in prayer.
There is nothing about which we cannot pray.
God concerns himself with every detail of our lives. God cares about everything we face. He cares about our relationships. There is nothing about which we need to reserve an attitude of worry. It is difficult to maintain an attitude of hostility toward someone if we are at peace. We realize that life is too short. Others may malign us. They may gossip about us. It makes no difference what they do because we are at peace within ourselves. We have put the whole situation in the Lord’s hands. They are upset; we are relaxed.