Throwing all your cares on Him because you are the object of His concern (my translation) 1 Peter 5:7
The Object Of – God knows what you need, right? God is able to provide what you need, right? Then why bother Him about it? Why pester Him with your constant requests? After all, you don’t expect your children to come to you for everything. You often anticipate what they really need and fulfill those needs without waiting for them to ask. Doesn’t God do the same thing?
The answer is, “Of course.” God provides our very existence. We can be grateful for all the things that we receive from His hand without a single word of request. But that is not the point of Peter’s proclamation. Nor is it the point of Jesus’ parables of the unjust judge and the resistant friend, both of which are about the nature of prayer. The point that Peter wants to make is that it is the nature of God to care. If we only understood just how much God cares, our prayers would be radically altered and our desire to come before Him would be greatly enhanced.
Peter uses the unusual Greek word melei. The translation “He cares for you,” isn’t quite what this word means. The word means “to be an object of concern.” You are the object of God’s concern. It isn’t that He just cares about the general state of humanity. His concern is focused on you. When we think of someone caring about us, we might not have in mind the intense focus of heart-felt energy that God expends on our behalf. In fact, God’s care for you and me is demonstrated in the ultimate sacrifice. He died for us. The God who is willing to go to those lengths to redeem you is not about to abandon you after He has paid the price to bring you back. As the object of His concern, every tiny detail of your life comes under His watchful and gentle hand.
Peter underlines this important point by contrasting our cares (anxiety over the things of this world) with God’s care. Our cares are merimna – those things that bring about mental and emotional disruption. Anxiety fragments us. It breaks up the peace within and creates instability, worry and fear. God’s care does exactly the opposite. Notice that as long as I try to manage and fix the issues of my life, I am subject to the chaos and confusion of the broken world. Why? Because my natural life feeds on the supply from this broken world. It only displays what it eats. But when I surrender to the Spirit, I am empowered by a force outside of this natural realm. I find food that is not of this world; the kind of food that brings peace, harmony and order; precisely the things that characterize the nature of God who is the source of my new food. If I want peace in my life, I need a new kind of diet. Then the care that He has always had for me will begin to be manifest in my life. Attempting to achieve harmony through personal force produces chaos and anxiety. The way to harmony is surrender.
Why do I pray? I pray because God is good. My prayer is not so much about me even if it expresses my deepest real concerns. My prayer is really about preparing me to accept the goodness of God. I pray because I trust that I am the object of His concern. I pray because of who He is. If I really understand the character of God, my prayers become joyful conversations with my caregiver. They are sanity therapy for a hurting soul.
Topical Index: Prayer