Here’s how you can kill the anxiety by praying about everything.
Anxiety is described as a feeling of worry, nervousness, or unease about things, situations, or relationships, typically about some imminent event or something with an uncertain outcome. That sounds a lot like worry to me, and Jesus commanded us not to worry, saying, “do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing” (Matt 6:25)? This imperative command includes what we eat, what we wear, and what tomorrow may bring. I heard one man say that almost 90% of what we worry about never comes to pass, and the other 10% are things we cannot change. Either way, having anxiety over these things is a great waste of energy. If you’re worried about tomorrow and it’s still today, you’re robbing the joy out of your day and wasting it on something that’s not even here yet. Again, Jesus commands us to “not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble” (Matt 6:34). Worrying about tomorrow is like borrowing trouble with interest, but paying the note today. It’s a joy-killer. It also robs us of peace of mind. We know that worry is not good for our health, and neither does it do any good for the mind, so what’s the solution? I don’t have it…rather, it’s found in the Bible.
Anxiety to Peace
You don’t overcome anxiety by sheer human will power or positive thinking. The best way to kill the anxiety is to pray. Not just pray about the problems, but pray about everything! Anything and everything that causes you to be anxious, send it up to God in prayer. Jesus knows we try to carry our own load far too often, and so He says, “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light” (Matt 11:28-30). The Greek word used for “souls” is not the living, breathing soul but our minds…Jesus wants us to rest in Him, therefore, “do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God” (Phil 4:6). Everything that concerns you is a concern of the Father, so submit it all to God and do so with a thankful heart. Either way, make sure to at least make it “known to God” and not shoulder the load yourself. Only by turning it all over to prayer can you receive “the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (Phil 4:7).
Peace through Christ
Jesus told Martha, who was anxious over the many things she had to do, that “you are anxious and troubled about many things but one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her” (Luke 10:41-42). Mary choose to focus on Christ and not on a “to do” list. The Apostle Paul tells us that “since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ” (Rom 5:1). That means we should not be anxious about our salvation since we are now at peace with God through Jesus Christ. If you have made peace with God through Christ, that means “there is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus” (Rom 8:1) anymore. You can have peace of mind and peace of heart knowing God’s wrath was placed upon Christ and not upon you, but Jesus said we must repent and believe (Mark 1:15). When that happens, we become new creations in Christ (2 Cor 5:17), and now we are seen by God as having Jesus’ very own righteousness (2 Cor 5:21). Being born again, or born from above (John 3:3-7) doesn’t make us any better than others…only better off.
Philippians 4:6-7 tells us to worry about nothing but pray about everything. That’s the way to destroy your anxiety. We know worry is sin but most of us do it anyway, so why not confess this and put your trust in the sovereignty of God (Rom 8:28). When you’re giving thanks to God, it’s difficult to be anxious. When you’re taking every heavy load of life to Christ (Matt 11:28-30), it’s hard to be anxious, and when you’re praying to God with a thankful heart, it’s hard to be anxious. Anxiety dissolves with trust, but trust gives you peace. This God-given peace surpasses human understanding because its source is not of human origin. This peace can give us confidence despite the problems that surround us. That’s why this godly peace guards our hearts. We can’t guard our own hearts so let God’s peace rule in your hearts.
Even if we pray about the things that produce anxiety in us, and the things don’t change, what does change is our hearts. Circumstances may have changed, but we have. We have peace because we trust God more than our anxieties. By the way, you cannot even have the peace of God until you’ve first made peace with God, and that comes through a saving relationship through Jesus Christ. He alone can bring us to the Father (John 6:44; Acts 4:12). He alone can bear every heavy burden we have. He alone can extinguish the anxiety and replace it with the peace of God. It really is a peace that surpasses human understanding.
Article by Jack Wellman
Jack Wellman is Pastor of the Mulvane Brethren Church in Mulvane Kansas. Jack is a writer at Christian Quotes and also the Senior Writer at What Christians Want To Know whose mission is to equip, encourage, and energize Christians and to address questions about the believer’s daily walk with God and the Bible. You can follow Jack on Google Plus or check out his book Teaching Children the Gospel available on Amazon.