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Philippians 4:6

Adam Clarke
Bible Commentary

Be careful for nothing - Μηδεν μεριμνατε· Be not anxiously solicitous; do not give place to carking care, let what will occur; for anxiety cannot chance the state or condition of any thing from bad to good, but will infallibly injure your own souls.

By prayer and supplication - God alone can help you; he is disposed to do it, but you must ask by prayer and supplication; without this he has not promised to help you.

By prayer - solemn application to God from a sense of want.

Supplication - continuance in earnest prayer. With thanksgiving, for innumerable favors already received; and for dangers, evils, and deaths turned aside. And let your souls be found in this exercise, or in the disposition in which this exercise can be performed, at all times, on all occasions, and in all places.

Albert Barnes
Notes on the Whole Bible

Be careful for nothing - That is, be not anxious or solicitous about the things of the present life. The word used here - μεριμνᾶτε merimnate- does not mean that we are to exercise no care about worldly matters - no care to preserve our property, or to provide for our families (compare 1 Timothy 5:8); but that there is to be such confidence in God as to free the mind from anxiety, and such a sense of dependence on him as to keep it calm; see the subject explained in the notes on Matthew 6:25.

But in everything - Everything in reference to the supply of your wants, and the wants of your families; everything in respect to afflictions, embarrassments, and trials; and everything relating to your spiritual condition. There is nothing which pertains to body, mind, estate, friends, conflicts, losses, trials, hopes, fears, in reference to which we may not go and spread it all out before the Lord.

By prayer and supplication - The word rendered “supplication” is a stronger term than the former. It is the mode of prayer which especially arises from the sense of “need,” or “want” - from δέομαι deomai“to want, to need.”

With thanksgiving - Thanksgiving connected with prayer. We can always find something to be thankful for, no matter what may be the burden of our wants, or the special subject of our petitions. When we pray for the supply of our wants, we may be thankful for that kind providence which has hitherto befriended us; when we pray for restoration from sickness, we may be thankful for the health we have hitherto enjoyed, and for God‘s merciful interposition in the former days of trial, and for his goodness in now sparing our lives; when we pray that our children and friends may be preserved from danger and death, we may remember how often God has interposed to save them; when, oppressed with a sense of sin, we pray for pardon, we have abundant cause of thanksgiving that there is a glorious way by which we may be saved. The greatest sufferer that lives in this world of redeeming love, and who has the offer of heaven before him, has cause of gratitude.

Let your request be made known unto God - Not as if you were to give him information, but to express to him your wants. God needs not to be informed of our necessities, but he requires that we come and express them to him; compare Ezekiel 36:37. “Thus saith the Lord God, I will yet for this be inquired of by the house of Israel to do it for them.”

Matthew Henry
Concise Bible Commentary
Let believers be of one mind, and ready to help each other. As the apostle had found the benefit of their assistance, he knew how comfortable it would be to his fellow-labourers to have the help of others. Let us seek to give assurance that our names are written in the book of life. Joy in God is of great consequence in the Christian life; and Christians need to be again and again called to it. It more than outweighs all causes for sorrow. Let their enemies perceive how moderate they were as to outward things, and how composedly they suffered loss and hardships. The day of judgment will soon arrive, with full redemption to believers, and destruction to ungodly men. There is a care of diligence which is our duty, and agrees with a wise forecast and due concern; but there is a care of fear and distrust, which is sin and folly, and only perplexes and distracts the mind. As a remedy against perplexing care, constant prayer is recommended. Not only stated times for prayer, but in every thing by prayer. We must join thanksgivings with prayers and supplications; not only seek supplies of good, but own the mercies we have received. God needs not to be told our wants or desires; he knows them better than we do; but he will have us show that we value the mercy, and feel our dependence on him. The peace of God, the comfortable sense of being reconciled to God, and having a part in his favour, and the hope of the heavenly blessedness, are a greater good than can be fully expressed. This peace will keep our hearts and minds through Christ Jesus; it will keep us from sinning under troubles, and from sinking under them; keep us calm and with inward satisfaction. Believers are to get and to keep a good name; a name for good things with God and good men. We should walk in all the ways of virtue, and abide therein; then, whether our praise is of men or not, it will be of God. The apostle is for an example. His doctrine and life agreed together. The way to have the God of peace with us, is to keep close to our duty. All our privileges and salvation arise in the free mercy of God; yet the enjoyment of them depends on our sincere and holy conduct. These are works of God, pertaining to God, and to him only are they to be ascribed, and to no other, neither men, words, nor deeds.
Ellen G. White
This Day With God, 268.1

Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. Philippians 4:6. TDG 268.1

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Ellen G. White
That I May Know Him, 260.2

Jesus taught His disciples to pray, and He often urged upon them the necessity of prayer. He did not bid them to study books to learn a form of prayer. They were not to offer prayer to men, but to make their requests known to God. He taught them that the prayer which God accepts is the simple, earnest petition from a soul that feels its need.... TMK 260.2

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Ellen G. White
That I May Know Him, 225.1

Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. Philippians 4:6. TMK 225.1

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Ellen G. White
Steps to Christ, 97

When we come to ask mercy and blessing from God we should have a spirit of love and forgiveness in our own hearts. How can we pray, “Forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors,” and yet indulge an unforgiving spirit? Matthew 6:12. If we expect our own prayers to be heard we must forgive others in the same manner and to the same extent as we hope to be forgiven. SC 97.1

Perseverance in prayer has been made a condition of receiving. We must pray always if we would grow in faith and experience. We are to be “instant in prayer,” to “continue in prayer, and watch in the same with thanksgiving.” Romans 12:12; Colossians 4:2. Peter exhorts believers to be “sober, and watch unto prayer.” 1 Peter 4:7. Paul directs, “In everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.” Philippians 4:6. “But ye, beloved,” says Jude, “praying in the Holy Ghost, keep yourselves in the love of God.” Jude 20, 21. Unceasing prayer is the unbroken union of the soul with God, so that life from God flows into our life; and from our life, purity and holiness flow back to God. SC 97.2

There is necessity for diligence in prayer; let nothing hinder you. Make every effort to keep open the communion between Jesus and your own soul. Seek every opportunity to go where prayer is wont to be made. Those who are really seeking for communion with God will be seen in the prayer meeting, faithful to do their duty and earnest and anxious to reap all the benefits they can gain. They will improve every opportunity of placing themselves where they can receive the rays of light from heaven. SC 98.1

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