“Do not be anxious over anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication along with thanksgiving, let your petitions be made known to God; and the peace of God that surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and your mental powers by means of Christ Jesus.”—Philippians 4:6, 7, New World Translation.
“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, New International Version.
Meaning of Philippians 4:6, 7
Worshippers of God can relieve their excessive worry or anxiety by praying to him. He promises to give them inner peace, which will help them cope with their anxiety and protect their thinking and emotions. Verse 6 identifies forms of prayer that can help them receive such peace.
Supplications are prayers that involve earnest pleading. A person might supplicate God when under stress or in peril, as Jesus did. (Hebrews 5:7) Often such prayers are offered repeatedly.
Petitions are specific requests made to God. His worshippers can offer petitions “in everything,” or “in every situation.” However, such prayers must be in harmony with God’s will as revealed in the Bible.—1 John 5:14.
Prayers of thanksgiving to God express gratitude for what he has done and will do for us. When we focus on reasons we have to thank God, it helps us maintain a joyful outlook.—1 Thessalonians 5:16-18.
In response to such prayers, God grants his worshippers peace. “The peace of God” describes the tranquility that results from a close friendship with him. (Romans 15:13; Philippians 4:9) This peace “surpasses all understanding” because it is from God and can help us beyond our expectations.
This Bible verse says that the peace of God can guard our hearts. The Greek word here translated “guard” is related to a military term that described what a garrison of troops did in order to guard a fortified city. Similarly, the peace of God protects a person emotionally and mentally. It helps him to avoid becoming overwhelmed by distressing problems.
The peace that God gives protects us “by means of Christ Jesus,” since it is by means of Jesus that we can have a relationship with God. Jesus gave his life as a ransom sacrifice for our sins. If we have faith in him, we can enjoy God’s blessings. (Hebrews 11:6) Jesus is also the way of approach to God. Jesus said: “No one comes to the Father except through me.”—John 14:6; 16:23.
Context of Philippians 4:6, 7
The Bible book of Philippians is a letter written by the apostle Paul to Christians living in the city of Philippi.a In what is now chapter 4 of the book, Paul encourages those in the congregation to rejoice, and he thanks them for their generosity, which brought him joy. (Philippians 4:4, 10, 18) He shows how prayer leads to the peace of God, and he identifies wholesome thoughts and actions that will result in help from “the God of peace.”—Philippians 4:8, 9.
a Located in what is modern-day Greece.