I happen to be one person who can easily think themselves into a depressed state. When Paul was exhorting, “Do not be anxious for nothing” he must have had someone like me in mind. Some of my friends tell me that I overthink … a lot. But I prefer the terms “think deeply” 🤓. Overthinking has easily made me a target for worry. I can make a mountain out of an anthill. I try not to, but I easily fall into that trap. One of my greater gifts is also one of my greater vices. Because of this, anxiety is almost always at the door. When I open the door closing it is harder. It takes one rogue thought to drop me into what seems like quicksand. The more I wrestle with those thoughts the deeper I sink.
Rise up and pray
Lately, I have been re-learning the importance of rising up quickly whenever I fall into this state. Whenever I feel anxious and overwhelmed with worry, I need not swim deeper and deeper into the ocean of despondency. God has made it possible for me to rise above all that weighs me down. God has made this possible through his promises in Jesus Christ: God is with me at all times, God desires the best for me and God holds everything together by his power. Philippians 4:6–7 also reminds us
Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
But this truth never really sinks in until we have to obey it. How do I not “be anxious for nothing“? By submitting every request by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving to God.
Thanksgiving does it
When we are thankful, when we really engage our minds and hearts and look back at what God has done, we realise that there is never any reason to worry. God has taken care of us in the past and he will continue to do so in the days to come.
So the next time you settle down to pray, I would like to encourage you, I want to remind myself — fill your prayers with thankfulness.