Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.…
The currents of grace, like those of nature, run in circles. Take the case of ventilation. A tube divided longitudinally into two, or two tubes joined together, stretch from the interior of a building through the roof into the air. The air flows up through one lobe of the tube out of the building, and down through the other lobe into the building. When the process is set ageing, it continues. But if you stop the ascending current, you thereby also make the descending current cease; and if you stop the descending current, the ascending one is arrested, too. Ten lepers came to Christ with prayer and supplication. He gave them their request. But only one of the ten put in his request with thanksgiving; only one continued the circle and answered the getting of mercy by the giving of praise. The Lord marked and mentioned the omission. He felt well pleased with the circle of communion completed in the one who returned to give thanks; but He left on record for all ages His disappointment with those who greedily snatched the gift and forgot the Giver: "Were there not ten cleansed? but where are the nine?" When there is spiritual life, the weight of God's mercies pressing down forces the sacrifice of thanksgiving up. The pressure of the air does not make the heavy, sluggish water rise; whatever weight of air may press upon it, the water lies heavy in its bed. But when water is etherealized into vapour, then the weight of the air makes the vapour rise. The load of benefits that pressed on the nine lepers, finding their souls dull and dead, did not move them upwards; but the same load on the one Samaritan, finding him spiritually quickened, pressed his thanksgiving up to the Throne. The circulations of the ocean constitute a plain and permanent picture of these relations between a human soul and a redeeming God. The sea is always drawing what it needs down to itself, and also always sending up of its abundance into the heavens. It is always getting, and always giving. So, when in the covenant the true relation has been constituted, the redeemed one gets and gives, gives and gets; draws from God a stream of benefits, sends up to God the incense of praise.
(W. Arnot, D. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.