Paul is at his simplest and practical in these two beautiful and profound verses. he tells us: 1. Don't worry about anything. Writing from prison with an uncertain future, Paul, like Jesus, recognised that it is part of the fallen human condition to worry and that this can easily get out of control and we begin to catastrophise and no longer are able to live normally. It is a discipline he calls us to here, exercising the muscle which controls our minds: he is not calling us to just stop worrying and everything will be alright. no, he tells us why we should no longer worry... 2. Pray about EVERYTHING. Nothing too small or too large for God. A few years ago Fi and I were struggling financially and I could never be sure whether the machine would accept our card at the supermarket. Now, when I food shop once a week, I pray before I set off. I find it more difficult to pray for global matters, such as the situation in Yemen or persecuted Chinese believers. 3. Tell God what you need. Some Christians struggle to pray for themselves. Paul encourages us to come before God as a child before his human father and ask for the things we can't get by without...companionship to quell the loneliness, good neighbours, a smile from someone when we go out for our daily walk, something to cheer us up when we watch the news.. 4. Thank Him for all that He has done. This could mean thanking Him for His life and saving death on the cross, but it could also be thanking Him, as I do every Saturday morning, for the means to get to the supermarket, for food there to buy and the means to pay for it. 5. When you do these things everyday, Paul says, you will experience God's peace. This isn't a peace obtained from half an hours meditation or the peace which is like a Sunday morning, but a rugged peace where whatever we face, God is our Rock, He is greater than any struggles we have. Notice that every part of our life is to be filled with God, nothing too small for Him, and then our lives become suffused with His presence and the things of earth, the worries which threaten to overwhelm us, grow strangely dim in the light of His glory and grace! 6. As we seek to live and walk constantly with Him, God protects our hearts and minds with His peace. There have been times when I've felt that I should be more worried about a certain situation than I felt and then I realised that God's hand of peace was heavily upon me!
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