Is there a difference between the two?
The first Bible verse I ever committed to memory was my life verse, Philippians 4:6–7
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)
I used to be an anxious person, a worrywart. But this verse soothed my unease and helped me to lift up in prayer anything and everything that was causing stress.
And God fulfilled His promise to replace the angst with peace. Every time.
I chose this scripture for the letter “D” in my book, ABCs of Scripture: Learn God’s Word through these ABC Bible Verses. In my Facebook Group, Exploring God’s Word, we are memorizing one verse a week following the ABCs of Scripture.
The week we came to the letter D, one member of the group asked, “I understand that God wants us to present our requests to Him in prayer but what does petition mean?”
Good question. I had to look it up.
The word, petition, means make or present a formal request to (an authority) with respect to a particular cause.
I discovered that although I prefer the New International Version (NIV) Bible, other Bible versions use different words such as “supplication” or “pleading”.
Supplication is to ask for something earnestly. The word is used a number of times in the Bible referring to asking someone in authority for a favor. It’s a kind of prayer that one would get on their knees and ask with a humble heart.
As a believer, I love to pray. Talking to God feels natural to me and I find myself praying as I drive to work, as I walk at lunch, and as I lay in bed at night.
However, I can only recall four times in my life when I got down on my knees and respectively begged God in prayer. I imagine these times would be considered “by prayer and petition”.
I feel privileged and blessed that I can approach God in my regular prayers but also in times of desperate need.
Although God is the creator of the universe, all-knowing, and all-powerful He loves me enough to hear my prayers and answer my petitions.