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Why should we let our requests be made known to God (Philippians 4:6)?

let your requests be made known to God

Philippians 4:6 states, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God” (ESV). This is immediately followed by a promise: “And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (verse 7, ESV).

The command to “let your requests be made known to God” appears under a final exhortation as Paul prepares to sign off his letter. Although the church in Philippi was a healthy one, they likely faced persecution (Philippians 1:29–30). Paul’s instruction and the accompanying promise must have brought encouragement to the suffering believers.

Christians in the 21st century also face struggles, even in the West, making Philippians 4:6 a priority. In addition to the everyday stress of work and financial obligations, we live in an increasingly post-Christian culture. On one hand, this presents an opportunity for us to reflect God’s light in a morally dying society. On the other hand, it leaves us vulnerable to anxiety and a plethora of unanticipated questions. Should we homeschool our children or enroll them in a public school? What if I am required to hang a rainbow flag in my office? Should we use our colleague’s preferred pronouns?

The natural human response to trials and the threat of persecution is anxiety and even despair. Scripture presents a better alternative: bringing our requests to God. This should be done through “prayer and petition with thanksgiving” rather than through “grumbling and complaining” (Philippians 2:14; 4:6).

The message of Philippians 4:6 aligns with Jesus’ teaching on worry. In the Sermon on the Mount, He says,

So do not worry, saying, “What shall we eat?” or “What shall we drink?” or “What shall we wear?” For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. (Matthew 6:34)

Why should we let our request be made known to God? The promise in Philippians 4:7 tells us why. The peace of God acts as a safeguard against anxiety, protecting our hearts and minds. Worry is the intruder that seeks to destroy us from within, but the peace of God is a shield.

The peace of God is slightly different from peace with God, which is the reconciliation we experience through the death and resurrection of Jesus (Romans 5:1; Ephesians 2:13–14; Isaiah 53:5). The peace of God stems from peace with God and our trust in Him (Isaiah 26:3). As adopted children of the Father, His peace is a gift that keeps us stable in a deteriorating world.

Even as we let our requests be made known to God, we know there is no guarantee that we will obtain everything we want. God is the Sovereign King, and sometimes His answer may not align with our expectations in a specific situation. However, His peace enables us to continue moving forward and trusting in Him, regardless of the circumstances, knowing that we will have what we need. When we witness someone proclaiming God’s faithfulness while going through a tough situation, we see an example of God’s peace in action.

Therefore, let our requests be made known to God—the One knows what we need before we ask (Matthew 6:8). Let us come with simple faith and confidence (Hebrews 4:16), our hands open to receive His gift of peace.

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Why should we let our requests be made known to God (Philippians 4:6)?
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This page last updated: August 3, 2023