Thinking Out Loud

November 17, 2008

When You’re Worried or Afraid

Filed under: Christianity, Faith, theology — Tags: , , , , , — paulthinkingoutloud @ 7:02 pm

John Acuff writes occasionally at 97SecondsWithGod.com:

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Four words.

I have heard roughly 1 million pastors reference the verse, Philippians 4:6-7, in sermons about worry.

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.

And it makes complete sense, because it’s a great verse. I’ve said that one over and over again through the years as I’ve wrestled with my own worries.

jon-acuffBut I’ve never heard anyone mention the four words that come before it. I’ve never heard anyone talk about the incredibly short, but in my mind, incredibly powerful sentence that precedes, “Do not be anxious about anything.”

Have you? If you’re familiar with that verse and have memorized it before, do you know the way the verse before it concludes? I honestly didn’t until a few weeks ago.

The four words before Philippians 4:6 are “The Lord is near.” The verses say, “The Lord is near. Do not be anxious …” I love that. When we pray that verse out loud when we’re under the burden of worry, when the skies are dark and we are so anxious we can barely stand and we cry out to God, I think we should start with “The Lord is near.”

We’re not praying to a far off God. We’re not presenting our requests to a long distance lord. The Lord is near. The Lord is near. That’s such a great reminder. Instead of starting with us, “Don’t be anxious about anything,” what if we started with the Lord? What if we started our pray with, “the lord is near” and ended it in verse 7 with “in Christ Jesus?” What if we had God bookends on that prayer about worry?

Would that change the way we thought about worry? It has for me.

John Acuff

2 Comments »

  1. Enkjoyed your post.
    God Bless

    Comment by growingolder — November 17, 2008 @ 7:21 pm

  2. what ever deception evil has within us, God will always be with us.In Isiah 41:10 God says “Fear not for I am with you always”

    thanks for sharing the verse Godbless.

    Comment by steve — November 18, 2008 @ 8:01 am


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