Main point summary
The Prayer That Banishes Anxiety and Ushers in Contentment
r do not be anxious about anything,
This is not just to stop being fearful by my own human will
Do not be anxious about anything. Instead, in every situation, through prayer and petition with thanksgiving, tell your requests to God.
s but in everything
it is rather to respond to any anxieties with the right tools, anxiety-extinguishers
This anxiety-extinguisher is under the broad category of prayer that has specific components to it
this prayer is to include asking, supplicating
t with thanksgiving
along with thanksgiving, for what God has already given by grace in Christ. I get this idea from: As the Philippians make their requests known to God, they are to be thankful to him for the good things they have already received, especially his gracious gift of salvation in Christ through the gospel, but also his present blessings to them (cf. 1:29, and note Paul’s grateful attitude as expressed in 1:12–18 and 2:17–18). Further, by offering their petitions with a thankful heart they will show that they are prepared to surrender themselves to God’s will whatever the circumstances. Peter Thomas O’Brien, The Epistle to the Philippians: A Commentary on the Greek Text, New International Greek Testament Commentary (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1991), 495."
let your requests be made known to God.
Does not God already know what I need before I ask for it? Yet perhaps the better question here is do I know that God knows what my requests are? And so for me to let Him know everything, is more for my sake than His. And how amazing He wants to hear it.
And u the peace of God,
This peace, this peace not of man, not of this world, not of illusions or avoidance, not of any other deliverer, but it is the peace, the content that is from God and God alone
And the peace of God that surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and minds 5 in Christ Jesus.
v which surpasses all understanding,
this peace cannot be understood in human terms. Perhaps this is one which may appear to be denial, may appear to be foolish or unaware of the dangers. Perhaps hard to distinguish. But it is THE peace of God. It exists.
will guard your hearts
What a peace this is, a peace that is not passive and still and unaffected, and disconnected. It is a peace that is strong and potent, a cure, a remedy that protects the heart from anxieties, fears. How unlike anxiety that damages the heart - causes confused bewildered feelings, and literally causes things like heart diseases.
and your minds
this peace also protects our minds. It is not just an emotion or feeling that gives us good affections. It is something solid, and helps the mind be clear, steadfast, functioning. How unlike anxiety, fearfulness that causes the mind to think disordered, disconnected, deranged thoughts that can in excess cause mental illness.
in Christ Jesus .
This peace will be protective, guarding, curative all under the sphere, reign of Christ Jesus.
Study Questions 1. What in your life causes you the most anxiety? What do you usually do to relieve your anxiety? My fallen, old self that is in desperate need of dying completely by the Spirit through Christ is: Everything causes me most anxiety, you name it, I will worry over it. This is a major war for me. I usually feel anxious then my mind gets discombobulated In better moments, I pray but rather haphazardly I continue going up and down in worry and feeling too tired Then I relieve my anxiety by distraction, or busyness, or indulgence 2. Read Philippians 4:6–7 . What is Paul’s remedy to being anxious in this passage? To not be anxious ( a choice I can make through Christ!) instead spend time in prayer (but not my haphazard prayers) and prayer is in itself the means by which anxiety is overthrown This prayer is to come with thanksgiving because the eyes of faith can see His goodness and ability, of His grace in Christ (see "More Info on 'With Thanksgiving'" below) This prayer is also to include supplication, asking, and giving all requests to God (Amazing God wants to hear it all) This prayer is the answer to anxiety and the action that leads to this peace The peace is the fruit that comes from this kind of praying This peace also guards against the anxiety 3. Have you ever experienced the peace described in Philippians 4:7 ? What do you think this peace guards against? How might your life be different if you experienced it more often? I have very occasionally experienced this peace, frustrating glimpses This peace guards against anxiety If I experienced it more, I would be able to see the glory of God clearer, I would be a more joyful and obedient woman in Christ, I would be very much more loving to others! 4. How do you protect yourself from becoming dull to precious verses once they have become familiar? For me it's helpful to: read in a different translation and language read it in context (along with Dr Piper) to make connections to larger themes in the letter, the book 5. Read Philippians 1:27–28 . What does courage and unity have to do with living a life worthy of the gospel? Do you see any connection to Philippians 4:6–7 ? A life that shows how worthy the gospel is to that life is one that is filled with camaraderie and fearlessness, or unity and courage Courage is another word that describes absence of anxiety, which is described in Philippians 4:6 This "fearless camaraderie" is possible only where there is courage (no anxiety Philippians 4:6) and contentment (peace, Philippians 4:7) 6. What is the key to fearlessness and peace in Philippians 4:6–7 ? Prayer that includes supplication for all things with thanksgiving, for the grace given in and through Christ (see "More Info on 'with Thanksgiving' " below) More Info on "with Thanksgiving": μετὰ εὐχαριστίας. If the requests are made known to God in prayer, then they are to be accompanied65 (lit.) ‘with thanksgiving’. Within the Pauline letters the εὐχαριστέω word-group regularly denotes gratitude that finds outward expression in thanksgiving; there is an emphasis in Paul on the public aspect of thanksgiving. By mentioning what God has done in his Son other Christians are encouraged to praise him also; and as thanksgivings abound, so God is glorified (2 Cor. 4:15; cf. 1:11).66 From exhortations such as Col. 3:15, 17 it is clear that thanksgiving is an integral part of the Christian life; indeed, the regular offering of thanks to God is almost synonymous with being a Christian.67 By contrast, pagans who possess the raw materials of the knowledge of God, as his creatures were bound to render glory and thanksgiving to him as their creator (Rom. 1:21), that is, to recognize his lordship and live in grateful obedience. But they were destitute of that thanksgiving which the knowledge they possessed should have drawn forth (cf. the ἀχάριστοι, ‘ungrateful’, or 2 Tim. 3:2, which describes the character of people in the last days), and the original image of God was defaced. While the grounds for giving thanks in Paul are manifold, the great emphasis falls upon the mighty work of God in Christ bringing salvation through the gospel. God’s activity in creation is on occasion mentioned as a basis for the expression of gratitude (cf.Rom. 1:21 and the thanksgivings said over food: Rom. 14:6; 1 Cor. 10:30; 1 Tim. 4:3, 4). But the majority of the Pauline references are in the context of God’s grace given in Christ (1 Cor. 1:4; cf. 2 Cor. 9:15 with 8:9; Rom. 1:8; 2 Cor. 1:11; Eph. 1:16; Phil. 1:3, etc.). At Col. 3:17 the giving of thanks to God as Father is to be the accompaniment of every activity, or is to be offered ‘under all circumstances’ (ἐν παντί,1 Thes. 5:18), for it is the appropriate response of those who are filled with God’s Spirit (Eph. 5:18–20). Thanksgiving is conjoined with petitionary prayer at Col. 4:2 as well as at Phil. 4:6. As the Philippians make their requests known to God, they are to be thankful to him for the good things they have already received, especially his gracious gift of salvation in Christ through the gospel, but also his present blessings to them (cf. 1:29, and note Paul’s grateful attitude as expressed in 1:12–18 and 2:17–18). Further, by offering their petitions with a thankful heart they will show that they are prepared to surrender themselves to God’s will whatever the circumstances. Peter Thomas O’Brien, The Epistle to the Philippians: A Commentary on the Greek Text, New International Greek Testament Commentary (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1991), 494–495. Takeaway I appreciate how Pastor Piper asks good questions of a text. Here, he asked what is the relationship between anxiety, prayer and peace. Which leads to one idea that prayer itself is the means to overcome anxiety. Not just alternative replacement. I usually just gloss over and simplistically just say, oh just pray. I have a long way to go to mine the Word for treasures!