“Don’t fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns.”
— Philippians 4:6 (Msg)
Having recently been asked the question “What does God say about anxiousness?” I got to thinking about the litany of biblical stories where characters like Joseph, Moses, Job, and David became incredibly anxious, despite their faith. It would be too flippant to suggest that faith is the answer to anxiety. Of course, we know faith is the answer.
But how exactly does faith arrest anxiousness, bringing the nervous effects of fearfulness to their rightful annulment?
Philippians 4:6-7 is the perfect response.
We cannot do anything about our anxiety unless we can do something; through action. And the action is easy to specify; we are to pray. We are to become active in our prayer life, and our reliance on God will rise, as our doubting will fall.
Prayer is a faith response. How are we to prove faithful otherwise? We cannot, unless we trust God enough in our anxiousness to pray.
Prayer interrupts our inaction,
It puts our hearts to work,
When prayer is our reaction,
We find the Spirit, in us, will lurk.
Prayer is not passive,
It’s an action of entrusting God,
With any issue that’s massive,
So we receive Divinity’s nod.
Receiving Divinity’s nod is being the benefactor of a peace-pervading grace. This is done through the practice of prayer in the midst of the anxious moment. Prayer interrupts our inaction and set our minds and hearts to the work of redeeming peace—that trilling peace that transcends our understanding. When we pray we do feel the Presence of the Holy Spirit inside us, affirming us beyond the moment’s anxiety.
Prayer is our admission, before the God of Glory, that we have no control over this anxiousness unless we rely—at our surrender—upon the grace that has saved us again and again. It is an amazing thing what a little obedience will get us; having spent even a few minutes with God in prayer, the intensity of our anxiety is somewhat relieved. We are, in a sense, lifted.
The answer for annulling our anxiousness is prayer for the moment. By prayer we switch our thoughts to God, allowing the Spirit to work in our hearts and give us relief. Through prayer we have strength for the moment.
© 2012 S. J. Wickham.