“Be careful for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.”  Phil. 4:6


Now that Paul has told us in no uncertain terms not to worry he begins to explain how this is done. This short but power-packed little verse gives us five very important steps that move us from anxiety and fear to peace and faith. So Let’s unpack them and discover this wonderful truth from God’s Word.


“Be careful for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.”  Phil. 4:6

The apostle Paul uses five Greek words in this verse that describe five different aspects of prayer. The first word is the Greek word proseuche which is translated prayer in the King James version. Indeed, proseuche is the most commonly used word for prayer in the New Testament being used as such 127 times.

Proseuche combines the words pros and euche to form one word. Pros means toward and almost always indicates a sense of close, intimate connection with someone. This same word is translated with in John 1:1, “…the Word was with God,” and at least one commentator has translated the verse to read, “…and the Word was face-to-face with God….”

The word euche denotes a wish, desire, or vow. The original use of this word characterized one who made a vow to God due to some need or desire in their life. Therefore, this word pictures the idea of exchange; a giving of something to God in exchange for something wanted or desired.


Consequently, the way we apply the word proseuche to our lives is by drawing close to God in an intimate face-to-face time of prayer. We then exchange all of our worries, fears, and concerns for His peace in our lives. What a great deal! We give God our problems and He gives us His peace!


“Be careful for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.”  Phil. 4:6

The next word on our list is the Greek word deisis, translated “supplication” in the KJV. This word portrays someone with some form of need or distress in their life who, as a result, pleads earnestly for their need to be met. This appeal pushes pride to the side and passionately cries out for help.

This word also appears in James 5:16 where it is translated “fervent prayer.” Moreover, this passage describes this type of prayer as one that “availeth much.” The fervency of this type of prayer is further exemplified in this passage by recalling to our memory Elijah when he prayed for it to rain after three years of drought. Indeed, Elijah threw himself to the ground and assumed the position of childbirth (1 Kings 18:42) travailing in prayer until his servant saw a cloud in the sky which was followed by a great rain.


In applying this type of prayer to our lives, it is important to understand that this prayer requires that we earnestly seek God. This prayer gives birth to miracles in the spirit realm. The phrase availeth much in Jas. 5:16 means has much force. The old Pentecostal term praying through comes to mind; portraying someone that doesn’t stop praying until they have broken through. For example, Daniel prayed 21 days while spiritual warfare was taking place in the spirit realm. The breakthrough happened and he received the answers he was seeking. However, if Daniel had stopped praying before the victory was secured he might have been disappointed.

I’m not saying that you have to pray 21 days every time you have an urgent need in your life, all I’m saying is to pray until you know that you have reached heaven and touched the heart of God. Indeed, oftentimes the church of today is into microwaving when a good dose of marinating is needed.


“Be careful for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.”  Phil. 4:6

What Paul instructs us to do next goes against human reasoning. He tells us to offer our prayer and supplication to God with thanksgiving. Not only are we to give thanks to God for the things we pray for but we are to give thanks before we receive the things we prayed for. Furthermore, our thanksgiving should be no timid affair. The Greek word, eucharistia, translated thanksgiving in this verse, means an outpouring of grace and of wonderful feelings that freely flow from the heart in response to someone or something. This guards against a whining, complaining spirit before God when we “let our requests be made known.”


We need to be just as passionate in our thanksgiving as we were when we made our requests. Furthermore, even though we just made our request and the answer has not manifested yet, we need to thank God in advance. Thanking Him in advance demonstrates faith!


“Be careful for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.”  Phil. 4:6

Our fourth stop on our journey through the five steps that move us to peace and faith is the Greek word aiteo, translated requests in the KJV. Aiteo communicates in a very strong way the place we can arrive at when we truly surrender our lives to God. Indeed, this word means to be adamant in requesting and even demanding assistance to meet tangible needs, such as food, shelter, money, and so forth. This word depicts someone who, after approaching God with respect and honor due to His name, demands that a specific need be met.

John 15:7

However, this word does not endorse the “name it, claim it” crowd. Furthermore, conditions must be met before God can be approached in this manner. In John 15:7 we read, “If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.” The word translated ask in this verse is the same word, aiteo, that is used in Phil. 4:6 for requests. But we notice that before we can “ask what ye will” we must qualify by abiding in Jesus and having His Word abide in us. The word, abide in this verse means to stay, continue, or live in. This word (Greek-meno) is in the subjunctive mood and aorist tense which simply portrays a definite outcome that will happen as a result of another stated action. In other words, this Scripture says, “If you live in Me, and My words live in you, then you have met the conditions; you qualify to ask whatever you want and it will happen.

Psalm 37:4

Let’s qualify this even more. In Ps. 37:4 we read, “Delight thyself also in the LORD; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.”  In other words, seek your pleasure and happiness in God and He will grant your every desire because your desires will be in total agreement for what He desires for you because of your close and intimate relationship with Him.


This means when you pray about a need that concerns you, it is right for you to pray authoritatively. AS LONG AS YOUR PRAYER IS BASED ON THE WORD OF GOD, you can have the assurance of God’s promise regarding the issue you are most concerned about. Furthermore, when you pray, it is spiritually appropriate for you to fully expect God to honor His Word and do what you have requested.


“Be careful for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.”        Phil. 4:6

God requires that we come to Him and express our needs. Not as if you were to give God information He doesn’t already know, He just wants you to express it to Him (Eze. 36:37). Moreover, God desires that every concern you have be brought before Him regardless of how big or small it might be. This quote from Joseph Benson puts this thought very succinctly, “They who, by a preposterous shame, or distrustful modesty, cover, stifle, or keep in their desires, as if they were either too small or too great to be spread before God, must be racked with care, from which they are entirely delivered who pour them out with a free and filial confidence.”

This word also continues the image of being bold in “making our requests known to God.” Indeed, it means to declare something, to broadcast something; or to make something very evident.

Listen, I’m not saying to forgo humility when you petition God. What I’m saying is we don’t need to come to God all whiny and mealy-mouthed. Humility is not that! Humility simply means a lack of pride and arrogance; a person that does not exalt himself above others.


So, in conclusion, let’s put all these definitions and ideas together into an amplified version of Phil. 4:6:

“Don’t worry about anything – and that means nothing at all! Instead, come before God and give Him the things that concern you so He can in exchange give you what you need or desire as you delight yourself in Him. Be bold to strongly, passionately, and fervently make your request known to God, making certain that a sincere thankfulness, thanking God in advance of receiving the things that you have asked for, goes along with your strong asking. When you pray, be so bold that there is no doubt your prayer was heard. Broadcast it! Declare it! Pray boldly until you have the assurance that God has heard your request!”


I sincerely hope that these last two posts on this website have hit home especially through what our world is going through right now. Use this passage in your life including the two verses that follow this one. Pray the Word, especially passages like Psalm 91 and Psalm 23 among many others. Prayer does still work! And as I conclude this post, I want to leave you with this Scripture:


“Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.”

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