The Antidote to Anxiety - Your Daily Forward Devotional

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The Antidote to Anxiety

 

June 22

 

Read Philippians 4:6-7 (ESV)

...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.

 

Reflect

How does prayer and gratitude reduce worry in your own life?

 

There is no shortage of worrisome, anxiety-inducing issues in this world. If you turn on the news, it seems like the top story every day is a major crisis somewhere in the world. And of course, now we have access to not only the troubling stories of public events, but we can also read the personal sagas of people online. Everywhere we look, there is trouble, danger, division, etc.

 

But in today’s verse, Paul reveals the antidote. He says we shouldn’t be anxious or worried but instead we should pray. Some may think that is just a simplistic suggestion meant for desperate situations. But it works in any and every circumstance. Paul said not to be anxious about anything.

 

First, prayer reminds us of our dependence on God. When I am stressed and anxious, it is usually because I feel like I am out of control. But the reality is, we are never in total control! I’m sure you’ve heard people say they feel like they have the weight of the world on their shoulders. I’ve felt that, too. But the reason we feel that way is because we are trying to take on a weight that was never ours to carry. Most of what we worry about is out of our hands. We are trying to control circumstances that we simply cannot control.

 

Second, prayer helps us focus on who God is. When we meditate on His Word and communicate with Him through prayer, we are reminded that He is the God who created this entire world and nothing in it is outside of His control. He is all-powerful. Your situation is not too great for our great God.

 

Third, prayer reminds us of His presence. When we pray, we are reminded that “the Lord is near.” His presence dispels our fears. In the beloved Psalm 23, verse 4, David said, “...I will fear no evil, for you are with me...” Just knowing that He is walking through all of this with us can bring immense peace.

 

But there was another aspect to prayer that Paul prescribed. It is an often overlooked but key ingredient in the antidote to anxiety—thanksgiving! So often, we take our problems to God and that is a good thing! But we forget to also take our praise to God. We should praise Him first and foremost because He is worthy.

 

Making our requests with thanksgiving acknowledges that God has already given us good gifts. In fact, He has already given us much more than we deserve AND He didn’t give us what we did deserve (death). Listing out our gratitudes in prayer to God changes our perspective. We are reminded that we are already blessed! We are reminded that God has taken care of us before and we can rest assured that He will meet our needs again.

 

Friends, Paul says that the antidote to anxiety is prayer and thanksgiving. No matter what you are worried about, take it to the Lord in prayer and thank Him for what He’s already done in your life. Rest in the peace that you know He can handle it and replace your anxious attitude for gratitude.

 

Pray

Jesus, You are able to supply my every need. When I feel anxiety start to rise up in me, remind me to take it to You in prayer with gratitude for what You have already done. Thank You for the promise of a peace that will guard my heart and mind in You. Amen.

 

 

~ Pastor Nat Crawford

 

 

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21 days ago
Thank you thank you thank you! Needed this as I have changed jobs, son started college, sister had surgery, we moved after long stay at old house. Overwhelmed.
a month ago
Thank You Pastor Nat for this message. My days of worry are plentiful as I struggle to give all my fears and doubts to God about my marriage. My husbands unfaithfulness has really damaged my spiritual focus. I pray daily that God will give me the peace He promises. God has done so much for me in the past and I know He will continue to take care of me in the present. I am grateful to have a Father in Heaven who cares so deeply for me.

Thank you for the reminder to thank Him and show gratitude when we come to Him in prayer.
1
a month ago
Thank You Lord for Your reminder that the antidote to my endless worrying lies in bringing everything before You in prayer. So teach me how to pray. Teach me not to be anxious but to think of You as the Problem Solver for all of my doubts and fears. Teach me dear Lord to continue putting my faith in You because You are faithful to all who call upon You.
2
a month ago
AMEN and AMEN....
1
a month ago
I've been troubled with anxiety and worry lately since my wife died and I now must address things that we had divided between ourselves during our nearly 60 years of marriage. Paul's recommendation that we bring both petitions and thanksgiving in prayer is unique in scripture. We are certainly blessed in many ways and so thanksgiving should be part of all our prayers. I find that it changes my mindset from worry to peace in the knowledge that God has worked blessings into my life so I may expect more of the same.
3
2 replies
21 days ago
Sorry for your loss. Praying for your peace and comfort 🙏
a month ago
without the Holy Spirit its impossible to confess Jesus is Lord .Amen
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