Is it not incredible that the apostle Paul was under Roman house arrest when he wrote the following words, “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God” (Phil. 4:6). Paul had certainly many reasons to be anxious and worried about, considering his circumstances. At the time of his writing, he was bound in chains and in the constant company of a Roman guard.
Even though Paul might be an exceptional case, Christians can certainly find peace of mind in the midst of the most challenging situations. The key to such peace is earnest and consistent prayer. As D. A. Carson writes, “The way to be anxious about nothing is to be prayerful about everything.” God who takes care of our worries and anxieties is able to provide us a peace “which surpasses all comprehension.” In fact, the peace Paul is writing about is the peace God himself has (Phil. 4:7).
The following illustration helps us to better understand this peace. There is a story about a submarine that had to be tested for its functionality. Part of the test consisted of remaining submerged beneath the surface for a long time. Now while the submarine was submerged, a powerful storm passed through the whole area, causing far-reaching damage. When the submarine finally returned to the harbor, the captain was asked how he was affected by the storm? To everyone’s surprise, the captain answered that he did not even know there was a storm. The submarine was so far beneath that it reached the area called “ the cushion of the sea.” This area is so deep that even the high winds are unable to stir its waters. And therefore, complete peace remained in the submarine while they were in the “cushion.”
Through prayer, God can provide for us a “spiritual cushion.” A place that protects us from the waves of worry and anxiety.