“…in earnest and thankful prayer…”
Observe that Paul prescribed, “… earnest and thankful prayer….” (Most of these scripture quotes are from the J.B. Phillips translation). My paraphrase of thankful prayer is “grateful worship.” I have a litany of thanksgiving that has evolved in my devotional life over the last thirty years of praying through Paul’s peace prescription while accepting the hard reality of increasing limitations.
When we’re thankful, we have automatically moved our minds from the negative to the positive. When suffering from a disability that is causing us to lose our faculties one by one, we have two choices: we can continuously think about what we’ve lost, or are losing, or we can think about what we still have and be thankful!
As I have experienced the gradual loss of my faculties, I have personally found that I get more mileage out of this condition for peace than any of Paul’s other conditions. I have so many blessings for which to be thankful. I discover regularly that when I begin to focus my blessings, the peace of God is in place. As I think of all the problems I have because nothing works from the neck down, mentally I put those challenges on one side of a scale of justice, while on the other side I place my blessings. I always find that my good stuff far outweighs my bad stuff – and the peace of God returns.
I am convinced that if you will put your problems on one side of a scale and your blessings on the other, you will find that your good stuff will outweigh your bad stuff – and the peace of God will be in place for you.