Fighting Anxiety With Prayer

April 1, 2024

In Spring 2023, I went through a season where I wasn’t sleeping well, my thoughts spiraled out of control, and worst of all, I wasn’t trusting the Lord. I was confused about what was happening to me and where things had gone wrong.

God showed me through the church sermon series and women’s Bible study on Philippians that I was facing sinful anxiety. I was placing my trust in self-sufficiency and control instead of the Lord and his sovereignty. I remember feeling ill-equipped and fearful that I was going to spiral like this forever.

But God, in his kindness, taught me out of Philippians 4:4-7:

“Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

Jared Mellinger said in his sermon on this passage, “When you pray, don’t leave your anxieties at the door. Bring them to the Lord in prayer.” I realized that I was not ill-equipped. God has been equipping me all along. Instead of letting my fears and anxieties spiral out of control, I could turn those thoughts into prayers before the Lord. 

I wrote down Isaiah 26:3 and placed it somewhere I could keep it in view: “You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you.” It was a slow start, but I knew it was something I wanted to do. 

I had a newfound desire for God’s peace. It’s more than just a fruit of the Spirit that sounds nice. It is a gift from God that surpasses all understanding and guards my heart and mind. Jared went on to say, “We are incapable of guarding our hearts and minds in our own power.” I often think my heart and mind are mine, and therefore I have power over them. But my heart and mind belong to the Lord as his creation! I can trust him to carry my anxieties in his power instead of mine. 

”Cast your burden on the Lord, and he will sustain you; he will never permit the righteous to be moved.“ (Psalm‬ ‭55‬:‭22‬)

I knew my battle with anxiety might not disappear, nor my circumstances change, just because I had new awareness that God has peace available to me. But I felt better equipped to fight. He invites me with open arms to let my requests be made known to him. Oh what a joy to have a God who listens and cares for us deeply. Only he truly knows my heart. 

O what peace we often forfeit,

O what needless pain we bear,

all because we do not carry

everything to God in prayer!

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