“When in a fix, Philippians 4:6”
As a new believer, this was the first piece of biblical advice that I received. At the time I had no idea what it meant, but once I looked up the verse, so much became clear.
My problem, among other things, was anxiety. Anxiety, worry and stress are concepts that virtually every adult is familiar with. No matter what label you want to put on it, there always seems to be something that raises our blood pressure. Consider the following statistics:
- 44% of Americans feel more stressed out than they did 5 years ago.
- 20% of Americans experience “extreme stress,” including shaking, heart palpitations, and depression.
- 10% of strokes, 60% of all human illness and disease, and 75% of all doctor’s visits are related somehow to stress.
Anxiety and stress are literally killing us. We stress ourselves out even more trying to find the perfect solution to our stress! Yet in our quest to find the perfect medicine, we have overlooked the one solution that is assured to work: “When in a fix, Philippians 4:6.”
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. –Philippians 4:6
Paul tells us not to be anxious about anything. That is a tall order, but he follows it with specific instruction on how to do that. The solution, prayer, is simple, yet a few keys gleaned from this verse can make this quest to be less anxious much easier.
- Pray consistently. The word for “supplication” implies much more than the occasional request, but suggests an intense urgency in constant, extended prayer. The prayer that cures our anxiety woes is constant, not constrained to a single time of day.
- Pray with thanksgiving. Let thanksgiving dominate your prayer time. Begin and end by thanking the Lord for specific things in your life. Whether He does exactly what we would like for Him to do in our current situation, the fact remains that He is a good God, will always be good, and we will always have much to be thankful for.
- Be specific. Sure, He is God and already knows what our desires are, but He so loves us that He wants us to come talk to Him. Share with Him your requests, dreams and desires. Ask for your “daily bread” and watch Him be faithful to provide for you all of your needs. (Matthew 6:25-34)
The opposite of anxiety is peace. When we pray consistently, specifically, and with thanksgiving the outcome will be much desired:
…and the peace of God which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. –Philippians 4:7
There it is, friend. It’s not complicated. Do you need some peace today? Just remember,
“When in a fix, Philippians 4:6.”