How does God say to handle anxiety? Philippians 4:6-7 is a major power verse that tells how to handle anxiety, starting with the directive, “Be anxious for nothing.” Then it provides the tools to obtain peace when anxious: prayer, supplication, and thanksgiving. In this way, we know God is with us in everyday life.
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.”
I woke up at 3:00 am one morning, meditating on this scripture. After about an hour, My husband Mike woke up too and we ended up having a wonderful conversation about this famous verse, discovering that the root word of “anxious” means “strangle.”
Doesn’t that make sense when you consider how anxiety makes you feel?
When I’ve had irrational anxiety, my throat felt constricted. It was like someone had their hands around my throat, cutting off my ability to breathe.
And of course, it’s hard to think rationally if you’re not getting all the oxygen you need. With the mind of anxiety, every challenge seems magnified.
So moments of anxiety are not a small thing, especially when it impacts our daily life.
Thankfully, the Lord doesn’t just tell us, “Don’t be anxious” and leave it at that. He tells us what to do when we are anxious so we can experience His divine peace.
Using ‘Be Anxious for Nothing’ to Handle Anxiety
The following article gives you 2 things to do to handle anxiety. Little did I know that I would have the opportunity to practice what I teach later that day! But more about that story later.
Here are the two things to lift the burden of anxiety according to Philippians 4:6-7:
1. Harness the power of prayer. Have a conversation with God about the anxiety-producing situation, in confidence that cares for you and will supply what you need.
2. Pray for Supplication with Thanksgiving. In your prayer request, ask God for what you need according to His Word. His word says that He supplies all of our needs according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus (see Philippians 4:19). Two things I typically ask God to supply are:
- Wisdom to deal with the situation according to James 1:5-8. However, according to this scripture, you must ask in faith that you will receive it: “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind. For let not that man suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.”
- Peace according to John 14:27: “Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid ( New King James Version ).”
This means that I can choose to let my heart be troubled and afraid or I can refuse to give the situation power to dictate my heart conditions. I want God’s endless peace to guard my heart and mind through Christ Jesus in every situation.
Strive to maintain a thankful heart rather than one of complaint. Whatever you focus on tends to magnify in your heart and mind, giving it power to control your emotions. It’s like a magnifying glass. When you are anxious, what are you directing your magnifying glass to the situation or to God?
Constant thanksgiving is a way to direct your attention to Christ Jesus, where it belongs. After all, that is where you want to draw power and strength from to help you deal with the situation.
I had an opportunity to practice this guidance yesterday. Mike and I went to a local park and I was hitting some golf balls. I thought I put my car key into my pocket. But when we got ready to leave the park, I patted my pocket to confirm the key was there – and it wasn’t.
But then, I remembered my meditation from that morning and resolved to put it into action. I did not want anxiety strangling me!
Mike and I made a prayer request, asking the Lord to show us where the key was. Then we started retracing my steps, searching in the grass for my key.
With every step, I affirmed my trust in God and asked for His peace and wisdom, secure in His perfect plan. I refused to allow my body to get tense and dismissed “What if” thoughts, which fuel anxiety.
After a while, Mike told me that he heard the Lord say, “The key never made it to her pocket.” He decided to go back and search the trunk of the car, which I had been in to get the balls.
However, I continued to check the grass. Then I heard Mike yell some wonderful words: “I found it!” Apparently when I leaned into the trunk, I put the key down to get the balls and never put it into my pocket as I thought.
Later on, Mike asked the Lord why He didn’t reveal the answer sooner.
Although Mike didn’t get an answer to his question immediately, he heard the Lord say in His still, small voice this morning: “I did.” Then Mike revealed that the Lord told him earlier to check the trunk, but he dismissed the thought instead. He only acted when he heard the Lord speak the second time. The problem would have been resolved sooner if we had only listened and heeded the Lord the first time!
Wow. We are amazed at how the Lord perfects His people’s concerns according to His word – both great and small.
If you are feeling anxious about anything in your everyday life, then use the scripture Philippians 4:6-7 as your prescription.
It may take time before the effects are felt, but do it anyway. It is Spiritual medicine. You will see anxiety eliminated at the source!
Be blessed in health, healing, and wholeness,
Author of the Take Back Your Temple program
Is anxiety destroying your peace? It doesn’t have to!
Live every day with security, faith, and confidence with Godly perspective on life’s challenges. The Anxiety Relief Scriptures: The 30-Day Daily Devotional for Overcoming Anxiety and Worry is an easy but powerful book that will renew your mind to God’s word and help you secure His peace.
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