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. Philippians 4:6-7
Dear Jesus, I’ve memorized this Scripture, taught it, preached it and prayed it for many friends going through very difficult seasons of life. Today, however, is a day I humble myself before you and surrender to these commands and promises for myself. It’s not the first time, and it won’t be the last.
Jesus, I am anxious, so I need grace even to obey this command. I know you’re not mocking my sensibilities and emotions… you’re way too compassionate to do that. I know you’re not asking me to be a stoic… for you are gentle and humble of heart. I know you’re not asking me to pretend and pose… for knowing you is the end to all such nonsense and non-reality. But clearly, you’re warning me about the peril staying stuck and turning inward with my shock, concerns and worries.
So, by faith, I’m getting up and coming to you this morning, bringing my earnest prayers and impassioned petitions with me. Jesus, it was you who turned the chaos of an unformed world into the magnificent cosmos of creation. Therefore, most certainly, you can enter the chaos swirling all around me and in me, and bring order and beauty. I don’t know how you’ll do it, I simply know I cannot do it.
For the things that deeply grieve me, bring your tear-wiping hand. For the things that greatly offend me, keep me from a critical and selfish spirit. For the things that profoundly confuse me, grant me the perspective of heaven and gospel sanity. For the things over which I have no control, give me a fresh vision of the occupied throne of heaven. For the things I do have control over, grant me wisdom and strength to act accordingly. Please help me steward my anger, my sadness, and my weariness to your glory. I don’t want to waste this moment or these feelings.
Now my thanksgiving… Jesus, I have no reason to doubt either your mercy or your might. You gave your life for us upon the cross. You have risen to make all things new. You are unremittingly advocating and praying for us. No one loves us more than you do. I have seen you do astonishing things before. Do astonishing things again.
Please send and set the transcendent peace of God as a sentinel in my heart and mind. O, loving King of glory and grace, guard and protect my heart and mind from the lies of Satan… the whisperings of gossip… and unbelief and cynicism, which are ever stalking in these seasons of stress. So very Amen, I pray with hunger and hope, in your most blessed name.