Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
You’ve heard the expression, “rose colored glasses.” It refers to a person who views everything in life through an optimistic lens. (Depending on your personality you are either thinking, “I love those kind of people!” or “Those people drive me crazy!”)
What if we switched that? What if instead of optimism, we began to view life through a lens of gratitude?
I love how this verse takes us from anxiety to gratitude. In every situation we are to bring our prayers to him WITH THANKSGIVING. What does this mean for you? How would this affect your prayers? How would praying with gratitude in mind, change how you feel about the situation?
Anxious moments are, by definition, ones where we usually aren’t focused on the good God is doing in our lives. We tend to become fixated on the issue, the problem, the obstacle, or the fear. Praying with thanksgiving puts our hearts and minds in a different state. It changes our focus. It forces our eyes to get off our problem, and off of ourselves. It shifts our attention to good, to God, to things He has done, and is doing in our lives.
“Even though I’m worried about _____________, thank you that I see you doing _________________ in my life.”
Eden has been struggling with being homesick at school. It’s a point of daily prayer in our house. But as I pray, can I also say “Thank you God that she is making friends. Thank you that she has a really kind teacher who is willing to work with us. Thank you for the guidance counselor who is helping make a plan with us. Thank you that she is safe, and loved, and cared for. Thank you that overcoming this will produce character an strength in her.” And so on.
Viewing our issues through a lens of gratitude changes how we see them. And that’s something to be grateful for!
Jesus, it’s not always easy, but even in my struggles help me to see with gratitude. Open my eyes to see you working in my life, and open my heart to connect with you through gratitude.