Philippians 4:6-7 (NIV)
“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 heart and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
Any worriers in the house?
As Rick Warren says: “If you can worry, you can meditate!”
Instead of turning anxious thoughts over and over in your head, you turn over scripture – meditating and ruminating and praying.
I have long since liked the Message version of this verse:
“Don’t fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God’s wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It’s wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the centre of your life.” (MSG)
I do believe in displacement.
Trying to just stop doing something is hard – sometimes impossible. Replacing it with something else is easier.
Let prayer displace worry at the centre of your life.
Let Christ and his peace displace anxiety.
Instead of worrying, pray.
It’s not just a case of “Don’t worry! Don’t be anxious!”
Displace worry. Displace anxiety. By praying and thanking God and presenting your requests to him.
Trace back to what is making you anxious. What is at the root of this anxiety? What am I fearful of? What is bothering me? What is keeping me awake?
And present it to God. Be specific. Here it is God. Here’s the culprit. I’m bringing it to you.
Before you know it, a sense of God’s wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down.
Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts.
So here’s a prayer:
Father, I get anxious about stuff all the time. But I do want to turn my anxieties and worries into prayers – and I want to be thankful. As I bring my anxious thoughts and cares to you, as I pray them to you, I ask that your peace – a sense of your wholeness in place of my brokenness – will come and settle me down again.
Let the peace of Christ rule in my heart.
In Jesus’ name.
If you are reading this on Sunday, today is the last official message on 40 days. Dave will be speaking on how to integrate the word of God into every area of our life. In the evening, Dave and I will be interviewed together about 40 days and then we will have a Q and A session.
Next Sunday I will be speaking on “What happens next!?”