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Friday, March 14, 2014

A prayer strategy for anxiety

A couple of nights I go I woke up at 3 and couldn't go back to sleep because I started worrying about some things. I'm reluctantly allowing a peek under the hood from part of my prayer time later that morning once I gave up trying to go back to sleep. I usually pray by writing so it's not unusual for me to have something like this written out. I edited it for clarity but this is largely how the prayer went as I reflected on this verse. 

Psalm 103:19 (ESV) 19 The Lord has established his throne in the heavens, and his kingdom rules over all.

Lord you have established your throne in the heavens, you have established your throne in the heavens. Lord, you and you alone have established your throne in the heavens, You are Lord over all. You are the great and mighty king. Holy and righteous and awesome is your name. What does it mean to say that you have established your throne in the heavens? How does it help to remember this?  I need to remember that you are the King, that you are sovereign and that I can live and move in the world without anxiety because, though my life will not be easy, nothing happens to me, nothing faces me that surprises you, or that hasn’t passed through your hands. This means that when I get anxious in the middle of the night about the idea of flying to Cambodia for two weeks on a missions trip, that I have no reason to worry or be anxious about that where my family is concerned. I don’t worry when I drive to the office every day. I am in no more danger as I fly to Cambodia than when I drive to work.  My confidence must be in you, not in my ability to drive my car and my familiarity with the drive to work each day. Help me place my confidence in you. I can trust You because you have shown me through your son Jesus that you are good and gracious. Romans 8:32 (ESV) 32 He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things? I have no reason to doubt God’s goodness to me and so there is no reason to fear. So how do I do this? How do I defeat anxiety when it strikes?
  1. Memorize Psalm 103:19 and Romans 8:32
  2. At the first moment of sensing anxiety, confess to God that I am forgetting that he is the King and that he is good.
  3. Choose to dwell on the text until I am more impressed with God than I am with the problem provoking the anxiety.
On another subject, Sunday I'm preaching a message called, Let it Go, and yes I or hopefully Noelle, will sing a bit of the song from the movie Frozen. She is like a constant soundtrack from the movie right now, so I think it's only fair we share a bit of that with you. You can read the scripture and outline here

1 comment:

  1. Good words. I am planning on accompanying my sister and cousin on a trip to Europe in August. I must admit that I am excited but also nervous about the war in Syria and its proximity to Istanbul, Turkey, and Ephesus, Turkey, as well as what is going on over in the Ukraine. Somehow, 3 a.m. is always the time I wake up when I am worried about things. It must be just enough time for the REM sleep to end, and a new cycle to begin. This is my one chance to see the Sistene Chapel, and so many places I've read about. Recent air disasters don't help one bit. But, it is all according to God's will. Whatever occurs, it is the Lord's plan. He works all things for good.