Overcoming Anxiety

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.  Philippians 4:6

We know that anxiety is the enemy of peace, yet it’s easy to get anxious about many things, isn’t it? It’s not that we try to be anxious, it just happens as we find ourselves feeling uneasy, apprehensive, and excessively worried about what might or might not happen.

When we feel anxious, we should turn to God, and in the verse above the Apostle Paul gives us a process for doing so. He doesn’t just tell us to not be anxious, he tells us how to handle it when we do feel anxious. First, he says to go to God in prayer. Jesus taught his disciples to pray by starting with, “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name.” (Matthew 6:9). We need to remember that God created the universe and has everything under control. He is holy, compassionate, and faithful, and we can trust him completely to meet us in our need.

Philippians 4:6 also says we should petition God in prayer. Petition is an earnest appeal to one in authority and we should pour out our hearts to the Lord, sharing openly and honestly with him our fears, hopes and needs. How often do we fail to receive because we fail to ask God for help?

As we pour our hearts out to God, we should do so with thanksgiving, which is the heart attitude we should have in approaching God; not demanding from him, but depending on him, and submitting to his will, whatever it may be.

If we do these things, the next verse promises us that God will surely give us his peace, a gift that goes beyond our understanding and can’t be achieved by human effort or will. It says: “And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:7)

This peace from God will replace our anxiety as we press into fellowship with him. When you feel yourself growing anxious go to the Lord in prayer and ask Him to replace your anxiety with his peace.

Having begun as a guest speaker in 2005, Dan was appointed Interim Pastor in 2008 and has been serving Maple Root Baptist ever since. As a small group leader and Chaplin for the Connecticut Tigers, Dan has a heart for the lost and the God that saves them.

Dan Kinnaman

Pastor, Maple Root Baptist Church