The Powerful Trio

"Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God" - Php 4:6 ESV.

I remember a time when I couldn't seem to enjoy a pansit dish without a softdrink. They just seem to go together well in my taste buds. Whether we talk about fashion, colors, building materials and the like, some mixture can create powerful combinations. The effect can be felt either in the eyes as in the case of colors, in the palate as in the case of foods or beverages, in our health as in the case of therapeutic cocktails and box office earnings as in the case of casting choices.

ABBA was never the same in any combination or as solos than the original. So was Beatles and Simon & Garfunkel. Some combinations are like coffee and cream or fish and chips or Romeo and Juliet. You just can't separate the members and keep the whole thing intact. 

In today's passage we are told that in dealing with life, especially in its more stressful aspects like meeting our daily needs or warding off threats or solving  problems, we also need some powerful tools and in the best combination. Worry and the absence of peace in our life can be dealt with if we have the powerful trio that our passage recommends. In Philippians 4:6-7 we are told, "Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."

The powerful trio that we need to deal with our worries and stresses are these: prayer, supplication and thanksgiving. These three have things in common but also have distinctions. When we worry because we need something and we are at a loss where that will come from, supplication is the answer because it is a form of prayer in which a humble petition or entreaty is made to God. In supplication we make a request or we ask what we desire in a kneeling down and bending down position to show humility. We always want something when we supplicate.

Prayer is distinguished from supplication in that it may not contain a request at all. A prayer can simply be a praise or thanksgiving or adoration. If we say, "Thank you, Lord for being there for me." we are simply praying. But if we say, "Lord heal my child." we are doing a supplication.

The third one is thanksgiving. Thanksgiving can be done in a prayer, in a feast, an offering or just be an attitude. When worry time comes, thanksgiving has a way of changing how we feel by altering our perspective. Thanksgiving allows us to see the good more than the bad, the available more than the missing and the beauty more than the ugliness. That's why thanksgiving can just be an attitude of the heart and mind and is powerful even by itself. If you can be thankful, you can be hopeful. 

The biggest promise in the use of these three according to our passage is the peace of God that will settle in our hearts and drown all the worries and stresses of the day. This peace which it describes as "surpasses understanding" will control the way we think and feel by focusing our minds and hearts on Jesus who promised that He will never leave us even up to the end of the age. Additionally, once a calm mind is achieved by these three, then we can go on to the next advice of today's passage that makes our powerful trio a trio+:

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things (Php 4:8 ESV).

This is pretty much an icing on the cake of our daily life. Thinking about positive things only make what is already good better or what is already better best. I wonder what those people who keep on complaining about their stress lack among these. Knowing that it doesn't really take much from us to have the three of them, it's a great puzzle why many needlessly suffer the brunt of worry and anxiety. How about finding your own combination today? You won't lose anything but only have much to gain by trying.