For the last couple of weeks I’ve been writing a new Bible study series called “Get Healthy”, which launched today. The topic for the next five weeks is confidence. I’ll be honest, at times, writing on confidence has made me feel anything but confident.
The preparation.The anticipation.The hope that all will go well. It doesn’t take a mathematician to tell me these things equal stress.
Do you ever feel that way? Stressed? Anxious? Fearful? Insecure?
I can almost see you nodding: Yes. yes. yes. And yes!
When we choose to (or are forced to!) break out of the cocoon of our familiar, these feelings–the anxiety, the fear, the insecurity–can leave us wondering. “Why did I agree to do this, anyway?” Or if the choice to change wasn’t ours- “Why is God putting me through this?”
It’s just easier to live life in the safety of the same.
But a live lived in a safe cocoon–although admittedly, less stressful–is also less purposeful.
We teach our kids to fly; sometimes we need to teach ourselves to fly, too.
Still, a person who desires to live by faith has emotions. Emotions like anxiety, fear, and insecurity.
So what do we do when these emotions fill our hearts?
Well, we can shrink back, turn from whatever is causing the anxiety, and run the other way. We can hide. Or deny. Or deaden the feeling with alcohol, shopping or food.
Or we can handle insecurity produced anxiety the way God tells us to, which is what I have been practicing all day today.
“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.”
We have a choice when the stresses of life overwhelm us: Panic or pray. But there is an often missed key to praying in a way that truly brings peace.
In fact, I missed it for years.
I’d find myself in the midst of an anxiety producing situation, I would pray, but honestly felt no different after I prayed, than before. Why? Because I skipped right over the key to anxiety reducing, insecurity stopping, prayer.
“…in everything, by prayer, with thanksgiving….”
If I want God’s peace, my prayers must be coupled with my thanks. Only then is God’s peace released into my life in a way that guards my heart, and my mind–the two places I need His peace, most.
So today, when I felt anxious, I stopped and prayed for God to bless my time, direct my steps, and lead me according to His plan. But I didn’t stop there.
I thanked Him that He would direct my steps.
I thanked Him that no matter the outcome, He is in control.
I thanked Him for His presence with me, and His passion for me.
Now, that’s a prayer that brings peace! Because petitions coupled with thanksgiving bring perspective.Prayer brings peace. Peace brings perspective. Perspective brings purpose. Purpose is the point. Click To Tweet
So what about you, today? Is there anything in your life that may be producing anxiety or stress? God has a game plan for how you can experience peace. Decide that you will handle your stress the way God tells you to.
Be anxious for nothing. In everything, by prayers and petitions, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God.
Then allow His peace to wash over your anxious soul.