4 Ways to Respond to Anxiety (Philippians 4:6–9) - Radical

4 Ways to Respond to Anxiety (Philippians 4:6–9)

“Do not be anxious about anything, 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 your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable. If there’s any excellence, if there’s anything worthy of praise, think about these things. What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, practice these things and the God of peace will be with you.”
– Philippians 4:6–9

There’s so much we could talk about here and pray according to, but I want to give you a quick acrostic and I’m going to hit it super fast. This is a miraculous command. Meaning it’s a command that comes from God that can only be accomplished by the miracle of his spirit. Because we are anxious about many things in our lives and in this fallen world and God just told us don’t be anxious about anything. How is that possible?

Led to Seek and Trust God

Here’s an acrostic I want to give you stop. Whenever you begin to have an anxious thought or to worry, pause and stop in these four ways. S: Seek God in prayer about everything. That’s clearly what God is saying here. Don’t be anxious about anything, but pray about everything. Martin Luther once said, “Pray and let God worry.” Which obviously God doesn’t worry, but that’s the whole point. We can trust him. Whenever we have an anxious thought or we’re worried about something, immediately stop and seek God in prayer.

Then T: Trust God through prayers of thanksgiving. Did you hear the language? Don’t be anxious about anything and everything by prayer application with thanksgiving let your requests made known to God. Thank God. One: For all of his grace in your life even amidst the worry and the anxiety. Two: Thank God that he can be trusted with all these things you’re praying about. Thank God that he’s wise and he’s powerful and he’s good, and he’s loving. Stop. Seek God and pray about everything. T: Trust God through prayers of thanksgiving.

Philippians 4:6–9 Calls Us to Open Our Mind and Practice the Word

Then O: Open your mind to that which comes from God. Finally, brothers, whatever’s true, honorable, just pure, lovely, commendable, excellent, worthy of praise, think about those things. Don’t let your mind keep wandering into worry and anxiety. That’s not coming from God. God doesn’t give anxious thoughts. God doesn’t tell us to worry. Those thoughts are coming from somewhere else and they’re not from God, so we know where they’re from. Open your mind to that which comes from God. Replace those thoughts with thoughts, promises, truths from God.

Then P: Practice the word of God. As you think about these things, Philippians chapter four, verse eight, then Philippians chapter four, verse nine says, practice these things. In other words, live according to what God has given us in his word.

Philippians 4:6–9 Provides Counsel for the Anxious

How do you fight anxious thoughts? How do you fight worry? Seek God in prayer about everything. Trust God through prayers of thanksgiving. Open your mind to that which comes from God, and practice the word of God.

Oh God, we praise you for this command. We don’t want to be anxious about anything. We don’t want to worry. Deliver us from anxious thoughts we pray, and from worry, according to your word and the power of your spirit in us, help us to seek you in prayer about everything. Help us to trust you through prayers of thanksgiving. Help us to open our minds to that which comes from you and to remove from our minds that which is not from you. God help us to practice your word, to obey you, to walk in step with your word and your spirit. As we do, to know that you hold our lives in your hands, and we can trust you.

God work the miracle of Philippians 4:6–9 in our minds and hearts, today and tomorrow, every day, and specifically whenever we are tempted to anxious thoughts or worry. Help us to stop in these ways. In Jesus name we pray, amen.

David Platt serves as a pastor in metro Washington, D.C. He is the founder of Radical.

David received his Ph.D. from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary and is the author of Don’t Hold Back, Radical, Follow MeCounter CultureSomething Needs to ChangeBefore You Vote, as well as the multiple volumes of the Christ-Centered Exposition Commentary series.

Along with his wife and children, he lives in the Washington, D.C. metro area.


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