Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Anxiety and Prayer

We are living in a time of economic instability that I have not experienced in my lifetime. I visit with people daily who are genuinely anxious and fearful about the future. The Lord has some great encouragement for those who fear the future. "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." (Phil. 4:6-7). When Paul set forth the marks of a spiritual Christian he used words like joy, prayer, thanksgiving, peace. Such lives are further marked by gentle forbearance and no anxiety. We live in a post-Christian, postmodern world, which has generally lost its bearings because it has almost totally abandoned its God. Its in this culture that we have the key to effective evangelism. Our world is characterized by fear rather than joy and peace. We as believers should be characterized by joy. And as we are living out true peace and joy by the power of the Holy Spirit, we have the privilege to point others to the source of this peace and joy. How can we live free of anxiety? We do so because the Lord is near. He indwells us by the Holy Spirit who turns our present circumstances into joy and peace. Have you noticed the Disciples experienced times of anxiety. They weathered more than one storm. However whenever Jesus showed up, their life circumstances came under the power of the Lord. He has the authority to say "Peace be still." The Spirit who indwells us also prompts our prayers and Thanksgiving. He teaches us to trust, pray and give thanks. Prayer and thanksgiving set up a guard (garrison) around our hearts and minds. This enables us to gaze on our Savior and only glance at our troubles. Why worry when you can pray is not a trite saying, its a biblical truth. Dr. Ken Copley is available for counseling, conferences, and local church meetings.

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