Anxiety – Part 5 – Answered Prayer is Not the Answer

This is Part 5 of a series on Anxiety. Read previous posts here.

What will take your anxiety away?

Anxiety comes when you don’t know how something is going to turn out, when you don’t have control. We don’t know, we aren’t in control, so we get anxious.

What, then, will take your anxiety away?

In Part 4, we talked about adding one word at the beginning of all those stressful thoughts and negative self-talk: “Jesus.” 

Anxiety = talking to yourself
Prayer = talking to God

Philippians 4:6 says to take our anxiety to God in prayer. But then what? What happens next? 

 

PEACE

And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:7)

The promise, if we take our stresses to God in prayer, is that we will have “the peace of God.”

This peace “surpasses all understanding”—it transcends human intellect; it goes beyond your understanding; it surpasses your ability to know and control things. 

 

Answered prayer is not the answer.

 

And this peace will “will guard your hearts…”— our motivations, our desires, our will. Your heart is protected. 

It also “guards our minds”—our thoughts, our wisdom. Your mind is protected. 

Your heart feels anxiety—burden, weight, stress, emotion. And your mind can go anywhere in anxiety—out of control, crazy thoughts, lies. 

And God’s peace is your protection. 

The picture here is Jesus guarding the door of your heart. Imagine Jesus, sword in hand, keeping watch on your heart. That’s what prayer does. 

You see prayer transcends, prayer surpasses mere human understanding. Instead of, in anxiety, talking to yourself, you talk to God. Prayer puts you in the throne room with the King—there’s peace there! 

This isn’t metaphysical, hyper spiritual, I-feel-better-when-I-pretend-to-talk-to-a-higher-power-new-ageism. This is the Risen, reigning, Lord Jesus you get to talk to. He was physically resurrected, he rules over all things, and by grace through faith you are most certainly his!

Listen, answered prayer is not the answer.

The answer for your anxiety is not that you would know, it’s not that you would be in control. It’s that Jesus is.

Peace comes from Jesus, not answers. 

It’s the “peace of God,” not the peace from God that guards your heart and mind from anxiety. 

What takes anxiety away is the presence of God. Jesus often doesn’t give us answers, but he does give us Himself.

 

Anxiety = talking to yourself
Prayer = talking to God

 

Read these slowly, as prayers, as warfare against your stress: 

    • And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts. (Colossians 3:15)
    • Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid. (John 14:27)
    • The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet. (Romans 16:20)
    • For he himself is our peace… (Ephesians 2:14)

_________

This post is an excerpt of Jim’s sermon, Anxiety. Watch it here.

Read the rest of this blog series on Anxiety here.

Jim’s latest book, Jesus For You, launches this Fall. Get a free chapter and more here.
Read other blog posts here.
Listen to sermons here.

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