4 Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. 5 Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; 6 do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. - Philippians 4:4-7
God knows our hearts so well, that He knows telling some of us not to be anxious can be hard to hear. If we’re the anxious type, we’re most likely do-ers, and our thoughts tend to race, so we need to replace those anxious thoughts with something. What should we be doing instead of worrying about our future? For some, even reading “Do not be anxious about anything” can cause anxiety because we don’t know how to stop - we want to obey the command, but we don’t have any idea how, so we end up with anxiety about our anxiety. If you’ve struggled at all with anxiety in your life, then you know being told to just stop being anxious is not helpful, nor does it work. God knows all that about us, so His Word includes what we are to do instead of being anxious. It’s all in the “but”. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. We are to lay down every one of our fears in prayer before the Lord. When the anxious thoughts come, get on your knees and pray until they’re gone. Rather than feeding the fear, we are to tell God what we think we need and ask Him for it.
We are promised in these verses that if we want to enjoy a life protected from anxiety by God’s peace, then we need to be in prayer. If we want victory over the worry that consumes our thoughts, then we need to be in prayer. If we want to defeat the paralyzing fears, or we want freedom from the havoc that anxiety has brought into our lives ~ addiction, health issues, relationship strife ~ then we need to be in prayer. In everything. We are told to pray about everything. Don’t just go to God in prayer over the big things - take everything to Him. That means we should be in a mindset of prayer, or in a conversation with Him all day long.
Paul says in everything, by prayer and supplication. Prayer is a broad term that includes all of our prayers ~ our adoration, our confession, our thanksgiving, and our requests. Supplication is the specific kind of prayer referring to our requests, it actually means "to plead humbly." This is the part of our prayer where we ask for help. In everything, we are to humbly go before the Lord and ask Him for what we need. Not demanding, not expecting, but with an attitude of humility, and trusting His love for us is deep and wide. If we truly trust the previous verse - that the Lord is at hand, then we know He is working to answer our prayers. Don’t be mistaken - God is not our genie in a bottle. He is not about granting our every wish, but we know if we are asking for prayer about something in accordance with His will, then we can trust He is working to make that happen. If we’re not sure if it’s in His will, then we are to leave the request at His feet and trust that His plan is ultimately for our good.
I remember being taught fairly recently that there are only two times we should be picking up those anxious thoughts - when we’re in the company of fellow believers, or when we’re in prayer. That’s it. If you’re picking up an anxious thought and you’re not in one of those two situations, put it down. You have no business hanging on to it. Recognize you are in a spiritual battle, and the enemy is given opportunity to find a foothold when we are alone with our anxious thoughts. A foot hold is a place to where someone can securely plant their foot, or a position from where progress can be made. If the anxious thoughts come, get on your knees in prayer or get with a friend.
There are days when I am in constant communication with God because the anxious thoughts are so loud, my prayers are non-stop some days. But I will not pick them up alone anymore - I just don’t do it. I know how to find the peace that surpasses all understanding because He has taught this to me over and over. I lay down my requests to Him and I trust Him completely with my life ~ that’s how His peace replaces all those anxious thoughts.
Press on ~ you are loved 💗
Many of you know I have been trying to raise money to replace the uncomfortable caregiver's chairs in the infusion center at Illinois Cancer Specialists. It is important to me that our caregivers are able to sit comfortably for hours while we receive our chemo treatments ~ we need our caregivers to be at their best so they can care for us at our worst. Please consider donating ~ every little bit helps! Here is the link:
https://www.gofundme.com/chair4caregivers. Thank you so much!!
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