A Prayer About My Anxious Heart

by: Scotty Smith

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. Philippians 4:6-7

Dear heavenly Father, once again, your Word has come to me like a fountain of sweet tea in the desert… like a 60 degree 25% humidity morning after a month of oppressively hot days… like a fresh churn of homemade peach ice-cream after working in a sweltering attic all day. How refreshing… how soothing… how timely.

I praise you for commanding me not to be anxious about anything, because anytime you command something you also resource the doing of your will. You are the God who works  in us to will and to act according to your good purpose (Philippians 2:13). Because of the gospel, your commands don’t come as a condemning burden, but as “the perfect law which gives freedom” (James 1:25).

Father, the truth is, I am somewhat anxious today. Here’s a list of things I don’t particularly enjoy—things which tend to fuel and flame anxiety within me. I dread disruptive change… messy relationships… not knowing what “it’s” going to be like six months from now… having to trust you for other people’s sadness and unanswerable questions… having no control over rumor mills and wagging tongues. Alas, my list could go on.

As I look at my list, I realize just how much I want to walk by sight and not by faith… how much I want to be god, rather than trust God… how much more I want to be at ease in Zion rather than at rest in Christ. I repent, Father. The transcendent peace you promise isn’t merely after the storm, but right in the middle of the storm. You are the God who is always working in all things for the good of those who love you. We love you because you first and fully loved us… and continue to love us in Jesus.

My request, my prayers, my petitions? First and foremost, bring glory to yourself, Father. There’s nothing more important, there’s nothing more to be desired. Secondly, give me great joy and confidence in trusting you for others—your sons and daughters whom you cherish. Thirdly, continue to free me to know what faith expressing itself in love looks like—when it’s easy and when it’s not.

With thanksgiving, I offer my prayers. With cofidence, I anticipate your guarding my heart and mind in Jesus. So very Amen, I pray, in Jesus’ tender and triumphant name.

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About John
A follower of Christ and sinner who needs his grace everyday.

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