Philippians 4:6 (King James Bible) – Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.
Philippians 4:6 (Weymouth New Testament Bible) – Do not be over-anxious about anything, but by prayer and earnest pleading, together with thanksgiving, let your request be unreservedly made known in the presence of God.
Google online dictionary explains supplication to mean ‘the action of asking or begging for something earnestly or humbly.’ It goes on to show other words like ‘petition‘ which may have similar meaning. Thus in many Bible translations they prefer to use ‘petition‘ in the place of ‘supplication‘ in Philippians 4:6.
However, in many places, people commonly understand ‘petition’ to mean to complain about something, or to demand that those in authority take action to correct a problem. ‘Petition’ to many people, does not mean to ask humbly; so the full understanding of Philippians 4:6, to pray earnestly and humbly to God, is lost.
We see a great example of earnest humble pleading in the case of the roadside blind beggar Bartimaeus, in Mark 10:46-52. When he heard that Jesus was passing the Jericho road, he started screaming “Son of David, have mercy on me!” Even when the crowd told him to shut up, he persisted, Jesus heard, and mercifully healed him.
As we pray to God, earnestly – persistently, and with sincere humility, may he be merciful, and answer us generously, in Jesus name, Amen!