Philippians 4:6-7 NKJV
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.
After receiving the news that British troops had attacked Boston, the first official act of Congress historically documented was to call a prayer meeting. The Library of Congress recorded this on a famous historical placard:
"Washington [first President] was kneeling there, Hennery [first governor of Virginia], Randolph [first US Attorney General], Rutledge [a Declaration signer], Lee [a Declaration signer], and Jay [first Chief Justice], and by their side stood, bowed in reverence, the Puritan Patriots of New England, who at that moment had reason to believe that an armed soldiery was wasting their humble households. It was believed that Boston had been bombarded and destroyed.
"They prayed fervently for “America, for Congress, for the Providence of Massachusetts Bay, and especially for the town of Boston. And who can realize the emotion with which they turned, imploringly to heaven for Divine interposition and, “It was enough,” says Mr. Adams [second president], to melt the heart of stone. I saw tears gush into the eyes of the old, grave Pacific Quakers of Philadelphia."39
Our Founding Fathers went to prayer first. They could've gone to each others' homes and paced the floors in worry. They could've sat in their living rooms discussing all the negative possibilities that could come from that British attack. They could've talked doom and gloom. But they didn't. The first thing they did was to call a prayer meeting. They knew they needed God -- His wisdom, His guidance and His protection.
Are you experiencing restless nights? Are you pacing the floor worrying? Is there something that's producing anxiety in you and distracting you from your job, from your family, from your time with God? God wants us to go to Him, because He loves us. He has what we need. So many times we go to people around us, seeking guidance because they’re right there. We can easily call them on the phone and get answers we think we need. Yet, so often those answers are far from the ones God has already designed for our situations. It’s then that we find ourselves further burdened by fear or anxiety. We forget when we give our problems to God and ask for His help, He shows up every time. It might not be in the very moment that we think it should be, and it might not be in the way we think it should be, but He does show up every time.
Whatever it is that has you worried, like our founders, spend time with God. Read His word. Pray His word. Thank God for the answer in advance and experience the peace that surpasses all understanding. This is God’s formula for peace.
- Read - Re-read Philippians 4:6-7.
- Think - Think about ways that anxiety shows up in your life. Do you eat more, eat less, bury yourself in work, yell at the kids or avoid people? These are indicators that it's time to go to the Throne for help.
- Write - Journal those primary anxiety indicators in your life. Write down a plan of action that you'd be willing to take when you become stressful. For example, it could be that you'll go to a quiet area for a couple of minutes and re-focus on a Scripture you have in your wallet.
- Pray - Ask God to help you recognize stress indicators at the onset so that you can quickly go to Him and reconnect with the peace that He has for you in every situation you face.
- Take away - Go to God today when you notice stress trying to creep in. He wants to help you in every area of your life. Let Him.