“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”
Paul used three different words for prayer in this verse. First, the ordinary word for prayer—“by prayer.” The second word for prayer is “supplication,” which connotes the idea of asking for things. Finally, “requests” refers to particular requests.
The word translated “prayer” means to present our desires to the Lord. It has to do with telling God what we would like Him to do for us. It means to go to God with a conscious dependence upon Him. We trust Him to fulfill our need. We are not asking Him to do something He has asked us to do. We are praying about things only He can uniquely do for us.
The word “prayer” is in the instrumental case. It is by means of prayer that we stop worrying. We do that by presenting our worries to God and leaving them with Him. Prayer is the means of putting our situation in the Lord’s hands.
Most people will not admit this. Deep in their hearts they want a sudden miracle that will remove the pain immediately. This is the very thing we usually will not receive in answer to prayer. When we put the situation in the Lord’s hand, the pressure is still there but the worry is not. God does not always solve our problem by removing the problem. Sometimes He resolves the problem by changing us.
Prayer is the means to alleviate worry.
At the point we put the problem in the Lord’s hands, we remove ourselves from the loop of anxiety. We no longer worry about it. At times the Lord will remove the problem immediately. Other times He may choose to let us ride with it until we come to the place of strong faith. He wants to put us to the test of utilizing His provisions. He has given certain divine operating assets. The more we are aware of those assets and appropriate them, the more we trust God. The problem remains but we have given it to the Lord. If we do this, we will have peace (v.7).