There is a classic Dennis the Menace cartoon that depicts an irate Margaret haughtily proclaiming to Dennis as he walks by, "I'm not speaking to you, Dennis Mitchell!"
The next frame shows Dennis, his eyes rolled heavenward, breathing a heartfelt, "Thank you, Lord."
When confronted with an unexpected grace or an unforeseen groan, is your first response to turn towards God in prayer? The very reason we can be anxious in nothing, that we can rejoice in the Lord, is that God is powerfully present for us in prayer, always. Saint Paul recognizes that a good percentage of our "prayers" are more correctly seen as "supplications" and "requests." Sometimes, when we are feeling spiritually strong and centered, our souls do turn toward God in true prayer, seeking nothing more than a feeling of the holy presence.
Other times, we approach God on our bellies. When our spirits are parched and dragging, we come to God as supplicants _ admitting our own inadequacies and recognizing God as the source of all wholeness. Often, however, we seek out God in prayer with specific requests. Sometimes we know our requests must seem childish and simple to God _ like the two little boys who in early September hopefully donned all their mittens, coats and hats, and perched their sled on the top of a hill and requested of God, "We're ready .... Let 'er rip!" But other times our requests are deeply serious: "Heal her," "Help him," "Hear me."
God wants our prayers, supplications and our requests.