MONDAY MESSAGE: PHILIPPIANS 4 BY REV. ANDREW

6Do not worry about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 7And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. 
Philippians 4:6-7
 
This text is better practiced than talked about.  So, I want to pass along an exercise that I shared during the sermon this Sunday.  It is one that springs from our verses for today.  It is one I practice often.
 
Find a quiet place to be for the next five minutes.  If you need to close the door to your office or step outside for a moment, this will not take long.
 
Once you are in a quiet, safe place, sit down.  Close your eyes and become aware of the nearness of God as you pray.  Cup your hands in front of you.  Take the anxiety that is closest to your mind… the one that has been hovering over your head all day long.  In your mind’s eye, place your anxiety in your hands.  You are holding it in front of you.  Feel the weight of it in your hands.  In prayer, describe it to God.  Let him know what it is.  Don’t try to solve it.  We do not go to prayer to solve but to invite God in. 
 
Now thank God.  Thank Jesus for how much he loves you. Thank him that he is good.  Thank him that he will never leave you alone under the weight of your anxieties.  Thank him that he invites us to cast our cares upon him.  Thank him that you do not do this alone… but can lean into him… trust him.
 
Now, turn your hands over, dropping the anxiety that you have been holding at the feet of Jesus.  Feel your hands freed from the weight.  Thank God again and choose to rejoice as you trust God to hold your anxiety for you.
 
Open your eyes.  Notice the peace that comes from the Presence of God where you have invited Jesus into what was your anxiety.  Practice leaning into that peace the rest of today.  Any time you need, know that God desires for you to “cast your anxieties upon the Lord, because he cares for you.”  (1 Peter 5:7)
 
Jesus, we thank you that we are not alone in our anxiety.  We also know that it is often our anxieties that keep us from lifting our eyes to you.  Our worries keep us from the joy that you desire for us in life.  Teach us to pray such that we begin to see our anxieties as a call to prayer.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Keenan Barber