Philippians 4:6

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.


Let’s break this verse down into its component parts:

1 – Do not be anxious about anything, but (simple enough: don’t be anxious)

            2- in everything (simple enough: in everything)

                        3 – by prayer and supplication (simple enough)

                                    4 – with thanksgiving (simple enough)

                                                5 – Let your requests be made known to God. (simple)

The foregoing is one simple step to having an effective prayer life that gets answers – or is it?

Have you ever been anxious? Could you ‘turn it on and off’ at will? Not so easy, huh?

This word, anxious, means to be drawn in opposite directions; “divided into parts”, or to “to go to pieces” because you are being pulled apart in different directions. (From the Greek language (Strong’s concordance #3309), merimnáō”)

Anxiety is the mind and body’s reaction to stressful, dangerous, or unfamiliar situations. It’s the sense of uneasiness, distress, or dread you feel before a significant event. A certain level of Anxiety helps us stay alert and aware, but for those suffering from an anxiety disorder, it feels far from normal – it can be completely debilitating.

Constant anxiety levies a toll on health. For example, anxiety increases levels of the stress hormone cortisol, raising blood pressure, which contributes over time to heart problems, stroke, kidney disease, and sexual dysfunction. And a 2017 Lancet study using brain scans measured activity in an area called the amygdala, which mounts split-second responses to danger and encodes memories of frightening events. Greater activity in the amygdala correlated with higher risk for heart disease and stroke, possibly, the researchers speculated, by triggering immune system production of extra white cells to fight perceived threats. In people struggling with emotional stress, this might drive inflammation and plaque formation that leads to heart attacks and strokes.

Quality of life suffers, too. Intrusive thoughts, dread of panic attacks, intense self-consciousness and fear of rejection, and other hallmarks of anxiety disorders compel people to avoid anxiety-provoking situations. This interferes with relationships, work, school, and activities as people isolate themselves, turn down opportunities, and forgo possible joys in life. (Note: there can be multiple medical reasons, emotional, psychological and physical contributing conditions that produce anxiety.)

What can be done to address or to alleviate anxiety? It seems that the more we try to avoid a behavior, the more we are drawn to it and the worse it becomes. The Apostle Paul talked about something similar when he said he was unable to do the good things he wanted to do (and the more he tried), the more he did the (bad) things he did not want to do. He lamented his condition and posed the question, “Wretched and miserable man that I am! Who will rescue me and set me free from this body of death [this corrupt, mortal existence]?”


Paul realized that it is all about one’s mindset – what we focus on. He says, “For the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace, because the mind set on the flesh is hostile toward God; for it does not subject itself to the law of God, for it is not even able to do so, and those who are in the flesh cannot please God.” (Romans 8:6-8)

It is not an easy thing, to change one’s mindset. It takes a long time to set one’s mind, and it will take an equally long or longer time to change it. With that in mind, Paul give us this:

Finally, believers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable and worthy of respect, whatever is right and confirmed by God’s word, whatever is pure and wholesome, whatever is lovely and brings peace, whatever is admirable and of good repute; if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think continually on these things [center your mind on them, and implant them in your heart].

Finally, brothers,

  • whatever is true,
  •  whatever is honorable and worthy of respect,
  • whatever is just and right,
  • whatever is pure and wholesome,
  • whatever is lovely and brings peace,
  • whatever is commendable, admirable and brings good repute,
  • if there is any excellence,
  • if there is anything worthy of praise,
  • continually dwell on and think on these things; [center your mind on them, and implant them in your heart].

What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, [in daily life], and the God [who is the source] of peace and well-being will be with you. (Philippians 4:7-9 – Amplified version.)

This takes patience, time and discipline to energize and create a prayer life that gets results, but in doing so you will have changed your life for the best!

Now, if you are willing, go back to the list (Philippians 4:7-9) and dwell on each ‘whatever’ and audibly name ‘whatever’, then write it down.

The outcome of daily prayer, focus, mediation and practice will give you what you are looking for:  “And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

Your Brother and Friend,

Mike Young

(Back to the Introduction)

              Week 2

 Prayer Journal

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