“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:6-7).
Sounds simple and makes sense reading it–but it’s proved not so easy to put into practice.
Many nights I struggle to sleep–or pain makes it difficult–but more often lately, it seems anxiety also keeps me awake. Sometimes in my half-awake state, I know I’m exhausted from worrying about something–even if I can’t even remember what it is!
Over the years I’ve tried lots of things to divert me from whatever anxious thoughts I’m focussed on–but recently I’ve been using the time to pray for others. At least then I feel like I’m “doing something” that’s worthwhile with my time.
Many years ago, a psychologist told me that rather than just tossing and turning in bed, worrying about not sleeping, I should get up and do something. That’s not always practical because medication can make me dopey.
The Living Bible translation I was familiar with in my youth, says: “Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything; tell God your needs and don’t forget to thank Him for His answers.”
Don’t worry about anything–pray about everything–God’s Word is clearly highlighting opposites for us. The NIV Study Bible notes: “Anxiety and prayer are two great opposing forces in Christian experience.”
I think I’ve got better at praying about everything and thanking God for answers–both good and not so good–but anxiety still seems to come. I know God’s got whatever I’m stressing about covered, so why do I keep falling into that trap?
Surely I should be able to remember His faithfulness in the past and cling to that for the present and the future.
In verse 7 Paul remind us if we do this, we will experience God’s peace–and no doubt peace will lead to a better night’s sleep.
Prayer: Father, thank You for the promise of Your peace if we will only leave our worries and concerns at Your feet instead of being anxious about them. We know it’s not always easy to do, so help us to fill our lives with more prayer and less anxiety, as we trust You more. Amen.
About the Author:
Fiona Burrows lives in Melbourne, Australia. She is thankful that God walks each step of her life with her, and that He is teaching her new things as she learns to live with chronic back pain. She enjoys finding time for reading, writing, and photography, and to share those things with others. You can contact her in the Sunroom, or read more of her writing on her blog there.
Do you find yourself worrying too much? How can you intentionally pray more and worry less?
This is the song “Mountaintop” with City Harmonic. The lyrics speak of how even when our heart knows nothing is impossible for God, our head gets in the way and we start putting limits on Him and what He can do. But when we remember that we have seen His glory, we’ve seen how He has no limits, we can remember to put all our worries and concerns into His hands. I think you will like this group. The beat of the song makes you feel a small piece of the power behind our Lord. It reminds me of “Our God is an Awesome God” when crowds all sing along about His power. -Lisa