“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” – Philippians 4.6From Toni Clark:
We live in strange times, don’t we? Nothing feels “normal”, we are all having to adjust to new ways of living, only go to the shops for essentials, only going out once a day for exercise, new daily routines working from home, working out how to fill our days if we aren’t working.
At work, we are having calls a few times a week to just have a chat to see how people are feeling. Each week we have a “temperature check” across the team, where we all post 3 words online as to how we are feeling that day and a word cloud is created. The bigger the word the more people are feeling it. What is encouraging is that there is always a mix of positive and negative words. It’s great that each week at least some of us are feeling cheerful, focussed, or thankful. Not surprisingly, there are less positive feelings – sad, worried, fearful have all appeared. One word that appears quite large each week is anxious. People are concerned about what is happening, will things ever return to normal? They are worried about children missing their education, elderly relatives in care homes, friends and family working on the front line – whether that’s for the NHS, or a shop assistant – or fearful for their own health.
I love this verse in Philippians – Do not be anxious about anything……. I know it is easier said than done, but it is something we should try to do. We have someone to whom we can give our anxieties, our worries.
In this one verse, we are given clear instructions as to what to do when we are anxious. Whatever the situation, wherever we are, we are to pray to God. We should come humbly before him and present our requests and our anxieties to him. But what I really love is that we are not just told to give God our worries but we also need to pray with thanksgiving. Even when we are anxious and worried it is helpful to think about things for which we are to be thankful, the beautiful spring flowers, glorious sunsets, technology to help us keep in touch with friends and family.
But I know in these dark days, for some thinking of things for which to be thankful will be a really hard thing to do. If you feel like that, remember that God gave his son Jesus to die on the cross for our sins that we might have eternal life and for that we are always thankful. In those times when we feel anxious, let us come before God and give those worries to him and pray the next verse in this chapter, “And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” That as we pray, we would feel God’s peace in us calming those anxieties and for that we can give God thanks.