Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition,
with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.
-Philippians 4:6 (NIV)
Do not be anxious about anything –
It’s August of 2020 and to think that we should not be anxious about anything is almost laughable. Whether we’re working on the front lines of the pandemic, fearful for our health and the health of our family, making decisions for schooling and work, examining our own privilege, worried about the upcoming election and our inability to thoughtfully listen to each other, or all the other day-to-day worries of work and relationships, there is plenty for everyone to be anxious about.
but in every situation –
Remind me that there is no place or no situation where your presence doesn’t go, Lord. It’s easy to keep a running list of all the worries and think that I’m alone, but you continually show us through scripture and prayer that you are with us in every situation. When we wake, you are with us. When we go about our days, you are with us. When we believe and when we don’t, you are with us. When we lay our heads to sleep, you are with us.
by prayer and petition –
Lord, hear my prayers. The prayers I speak out loud, the prayers I cry to you in the dark of the night, the prayers I whisper in the early morning, the prayers I sing with my children, the prayers I don’t know how to articulate, and the prayers you’re working in me.
with thanksgiving –
Help me to remember to give thanks for the sound of children’s laughter, the first cup of coffee, the sunrise, the sound of wind rustling leaves, a handwritten note, a walk in the woods, teachers, staff, and administrators working to make our schools safe, health care workers, garden-fresh veggies, a good book, a phone call from a friend, fireflies, the roar of the ocean, and moments of silence.
present your requests to God –
To you I lift these prayers, God, to you I put my trust. Be with me. Be with our country and world. Be with us in the darkness and walk with us towards the light.
Kimberly Knowle-Zeller is an ordained ELCA pastor, mother of two, and spouse of an ELCA pastor. She lives with her family in Cole Camp, MO. You can read more at her website, follow her work on Facebook, or sign up for her monthly newsletter.