A Prayer for Not Being Anxious When We ARE Anxious
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Phil. 4:6-7
Dear heavenly Father, we know you never command anything without resourcing our obedience through the riches of the gospel. For you don’t delight in our frustration; find pleasure in our shame; or intend our despair. So the command not to be anxious, about anything, comes to our anxious hearts, not as an indictment, but as an invitation. By your grace, help us cast our cares, bring our burdens, and flee our anxieties.
About what are we anxious? Good concerns and vain quests. Father, it’s easy to be anxious about our children. More than anything else, we want them to rest in your love, know your delight and seek first your kingdom. We know you love our children more than we do, (at least that’s our theology); so forgive our penchant for playing Holy Spirit in their lives—acting as though you don’t care, aren’t involved, or that your hands are tied. Help us love our kids, as unto you, period.
Father, we confess our anxieties about international turmoil and American politics. Emotionally, we often live as though the throne of heaven is vacant, or at least on vacation—like Jesus only had the hearts of the kings in his hand during the Roman era. Spiritually, we got the idea, somewhere, that our country is the center of the universe, and that we’re entitled to a special status in your big plan. Forgive us, and free us from such nationalistic, narcissistic notions.
Like a lit up neon blinking sign, cause these truths to constantly radiate in our hearts: That you do all things well and that no purpose of yours can be thwarted (Job 42:2); That you are summing up all things in Jesus, and that he will have the supremacy in all things (Col. 1:15-20); That you are working in all things, for your glory and our good—in all things (Rom. 8:28); That you’re leaving nothing to chance or decay, but that you’re making all things new and beautiful through Jesus, and in your time (Rev. 21:1-6; Eccl. 3:11).
And Father, where we’re anxious about getting older and “saggier,” less sharp and less necessary—with less energy and less memory, let us do what we want for our children—rest in your love, know your delight and seek first your kingdom. We matter, but we’re not the point. Hallelujah, many times over.
May the gospel overflow the cup of our hearts with thanksgiving, for the riches of your grace; praise, for the wonders of your love; and peace, for the assurance of your sovereignty. So very Amen we pray, in Jesus tender and triumphant name.