Pray with Thanksgiving
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.Philippians 4:6-7 NIV
The type of prayer that Paul writes about is not one of manipulation of people or God. We think that by manipulating God through prayer or asking Him to manipulate others, we will obtain things. But Philippians says that our prayers should be with thanksgiving.
There are prayers that produce a spirit of disbelief and affliction. Instead of removing the worry in our lives, those prayers produce stress. They are prayers that try to manipulate God with self-concentration, wanting to psychologically manipulate Him. Do you believe we can manipulate God? God cannot be manipulated.
Those types of prayers do not produce anything good, nor are they the way to communicate with God. In reality, those are prayers of disbelief. Paul says that our prayers should be flavored with gratitude, for in this way they become prayers of faith.
Paul says that “the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard our hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.” When we pray correctly to God in the midst of our situation of distress, this will produce peace. It is not a peace that comes from something external, but that only God can produce within you.
The answer is not that the problem is going to be solved. Paul is not saying that the problem will be solved immediately. He says that when you pray with thanksgiving, the peace of God will come and guard your heart and mind. The peace of God is produced through your prayer of faith in the midst of your circumstances.
Normally, we put our afflictions front and center; there are two ways we can await the results. On one side is your worry, that comes with fear for the outcome, and on the other side is the peace of God, that fills our hearts and minds. On neither side is the problem solved, but you can choose which way you will face the future. One is filled with anxiety: the problem is not solved, but your life will have the consequences of worry and fear, and the results they produce. On the other side, even though the problem does not go away, you have peace in your heart and mind. With the peace of God, you will be fine no matter what happens.