Turn Anxiety Into Prayer

Anxiety is a real issue we all face. For some of us, it can be a nuisance, similar to the mosquito that flies around our ears on a summer night. For others, anxiety can be crippling, to the point where our day comes to a complete stop. Some of us fall somewhere in-between. Regardless of how anxiety affects us at any given time, God desires for our petitions and praise to shape our anxiety into prayer.

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation,
by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving,
present your requests to God.”
Philippians 4:6

Anxiety is being full of mental distress or uneasiness caused by fear of danger or misfortune. It’s being greatly worried. Now, to tell someone “Don’t be anxious about anything” can seem to be a “pat” answer or come off as “insensitive.” This is not what I am trying to communicate, neither is God. Having said that, this verse IS a direct command. God does NOT want anxiety, worry, or fear to cripple us or control our lives. Jesus was quite clear about this during the Sermon on the Mount (see Matthew 6:25, 27, 28, 31 & 34). If it weren’t possible to stop anxiety in its tracks, God wouldn’t have said, “Don’t be anxious.” That’s why it is important to keep reading. God tells us exactly how to stop worry. “But in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.”

Have you ever been asked to sign a petition? Usually, at the top of the page, there is a written statement that explains the definite, specific request being made. Instead of being full of mental distress and uneasiness, take a moment and figure out what you desire to request from God. This is not the time for “popcorn” prayers. Be precise. Write your request down.

After you gather your thoughts by faith (completely trusting in the One who cares for you), purposefully and intentionally go before Father God and present your request to Him. Then give God thanks! Praise and worship Him for who He is and what He has done for you! BUT wait, you’re not finished. Receive God’s peace. Allow God’s wholeness to settle on you and guard your heart and mind. Jesus will displace worry, anxiety, and fear from the center of your life.

“And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding,
will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
Philippians 4:7

One final thing, if you realize that you are having anxious thoughts again, go back and remind yourself of the specific requests you presented to God. Praise, worship, and give Him thanks that He heard you! Remind yourself that God’s peace is guarding and protecting your mind and heart! Do this 100 times if you have to! Before you realize it, ALL of your anxiety will disappear.

Turn anxiety into prayer,
Pastor Tom

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