Philippians (13): Dealing with Anxiety

Date: 10/21/2012
More audio from All Saints Church
Type: Sunday Sermon
Topic: anxiety
Organization: All Saints
Price: FREE

Philippians (13): Dealing with Anxiety

Philippians 4:6 - Stop worrying about things and pray about everything specifically with thankfulness so that what you ask for [instead of worry about] is made known to God. 4:7 And [then] the peace of God, which exceeds all your thinking about [the problems], will protect your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.

Steps to Resolving Personal Conflicts
We saw that Phil. 4:2-9 teaches that 1) personal conflicts are a reality in the church (v2). 2) Pastoral interventions are a requirement (v3,9) and that 3) peace results from changing personal, mental patterns (v6-8). Let us consider in detail the personal, mental patterns. The series of actions urged in personal conflict are: a) be glad v4, b) be gentle v5, c) be prayerful v6, and d) be hopeful even in conflict v8. This brings peace v7. We will address being prayerful.

Steps to Renovating our Mental Patterns
We are to “stop worrying about things and pray about everything specifically with thankfulness.” Worry and prayer are similar mental activities. Worry uses the same faculties that prayer uses. In both our thoughts and words are present, as well our emotions and imaginations. Worry is imagination used in futility. Effective prayer reverses this and asks God for vivid, specific and tangible requests with gratitude. The process of exchanging futile anxieties for fruitful prayer entails several steps.

Steps to Replacing Worry with Answered Prayer
Step One: How to stop worrying and start praying. a) Stop worrying by identifying a specific anxiety. Instead of a vague nervousness, name the worry. “I am worried that _________.” b) Then turn this into a specific request in prayer. “Father, I am worried that _________. I ask you to ________.” c) Then ask this in the name of Christ, being sure to refine this request as you find it out of His will.

Step Two: How to start praying with gratitude. Regardless of the problem we can be thankful. We can add gratitude to our prayers since a) we are to be glad (rejoice) in our own salvation (4:4), b) we are to be grateful in God’s own character and power to do exceedingly beyond what we ask or think (Eph. 3:20). And c) we can discipline ourselves to see elements of goodness in our own situation (v8). “Father, I am worried that _________. I ask you to ________  and I am thanking You for accomplishing Your kingdom’s purposes in _________. You are completely sovereign over this matter and I entrust it to You in Jesus powerful name.

Step Three: Rinse and Repeat.

Gregg Strawbridge Gregg Strawbridge, Ph.D., is the pastor of All Saints Church in Lancaster, PA. He became a committed follower of Jesus Christ at age 20, discipled in the context of a University Navigator Ministry. As a result of personal discipleship he went on to study at Columbia Biblical Seminary (M.A., Columbia, SC, 1990), as well as receive a Ph.D. in education and philosophy... read more