“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” Philippians 4:6
The prayer group that I participate in by e-mail has about 15 people involved. The most common prayer request in our group is concerning a loved one who is having health problems.
To me, that says two things:
- The people involved in our group are genuine followers of Jesus… they are “servants,” always putting the needs of other people first., and
- The prayer group people believe in the power of prayer, which is REAL!!
It is extremely painful to watch anyone, particularly someone who we genuinely care about, suffer. Whether it is pain related to a health issue or life’s anxieties, It makes me want to ask the question: Why God?
The very best answer I’ve found to this question is in the Bible: “We know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.” Romans 8:28
It is through these difficult experiences that we grow.
our time here is for just a short while, and in preparation for eternity.
I’ve found that I can monitor how my life centers on God through this one simple test: By honestly asking myself if I feel at peace.
Whenever I feel anxious or worried about something my life is in some way out of whack… and I need to regroup and put the concern where it belongs: in God’s hands.
“Submit to God and be at peace with Him; in this way prosperity will come to you.” Job 22:21
Peace for me has usually been very subtle, but it can also be very powerful. Peace comes from the Holy Spirit. I can vividly recall the most powerful feeling I’ve ever had of the Holy Spirit’s presence… peace was a refreshing reward for totally surrendering and trusting in God’s perfect work in my life.
If God is at the center of my life, I’m at peace, even in the most trying circumstances. If my life isn’t centered on God, I’m more likely to be stressed out and worried.
Repeating, and continuing on from Philippians Chapter 4…
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable – if anything is excellent or praiseworthy – think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me – put into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.” (verses 6-9)
This is another powerful verse and choice we make… we can choose to focus our mind on that which is true, noble, right, honorable, just, pure, lovely, kind, gracious, praiseworthy, etc… and in doing so it helps relieve our troubles. This takes some effort and practice, but it really works!
There’s no better way to release life’s worries and anxieties than turning them over to God.