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Philippians 4:6-7

September 27, 2009

Philippians 4:6-7 : 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.

I am anxious right now. I am someone who goes at something 110%. I am very bad at moderation, as a leader I am a sprinter, I go like the wind; then at some point, exhausted, I rest and then up again running at full speed… This can be a good thing, I am very good at change, at getting things done quickly, I am good at setting up ministries, and I am able to get a lot done in a short period of time. But it can also mean I get too involved in things, I lose much needed balance in my life. And that is somewhat happening now with the amount of time I spend on Facebook. I am driven to tend to the pages I started on there, The Bible page, Praying People, and Journeying Deeper, but I can see it is starting to become an issue, a source of anxiety.

The greek for ‘anxious’ in Philippians 4 literally means to spend a lot of time worrying about something. So what can I do about my anxiety?

prayerPrayer. Philippians 4 says, ‘but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.’ And the greek for ‘prayer’ can mean a place you pray, a silent private place to pray. So this is the first help, not only do I need to make time for prayer, but I actually need to find a praying place, somewhere where prayer is promoted and comes easily. For me this is anywhere were I can get total silence.

And the Philippians reading then shares that once I pray the ‘peace of God which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.’ The ‘peace of God’ refers to receiving blessing, that good will happen to me. Or in my case, I will reduce my constant need to engage with Facebook. And then it talks about, ‘guard your hearts and minds’ and the greek behind ‘heart’ and ‘mind’ reveals the essence of my anxiety: heart refers to impulse, affection and desire and the mind is the intellect. I am aware of what I need to do on Facebook, and then I get an impulsive thought at 10pm, an idea to follow someone up and before I know it, it is 12am and I am still on Facebook. So in praying, in setting a certain time and place to pray, I will gain increased control over this impulse ‘heart’ urge. And the greek behind the word, “guard’ literally refers to military guarding, which takes discipline and precision.

So how do I deal with my anxiety? Well first up I need to discipline the amount of time I spend of Facebook to just twice a day, early morning to post my journey deeper and answer a few messages, and in the early evening. And after reading this Philippians passage I can see the need that as well as having a prayerful attitude throughout the whole day, that I should also have a structured prayer life, where I have set time each day to find that prayerful space and pray. I am going to start with first thing in the morning, and before I go to bed as a start.

And through this I am certain that my heart and mind will be guarded in Christ Jesus! Praise you Lord for this amazing passage!

God bless ya,

Mark Brown

…………………….

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18 Comments
  1. Well, sir, maybe you spend too much time on Facebook, but I’m glad you spent time enough to write this little essay. It showed up on my Facebook page right when I needed it.

  2. i have had this concern as well for the past few days or so, i feel like this was meant for me. THANK YOU!

    • Like you, I have felt the Holy Spirit nudging me about the time I am spending on things like Facebook that I am allowing to take time away from much more important things, my time with God. Not only in prayer, but in my service to His kingdom. While that service is also completed mostly here in my home, sitting in front of the computer is not what He has in mind.

      I have still not found my total quiet place to spend in prayer. I am the lone Christian in our home, making it even more difficult since others in the home do not understand that need. (my youngest daughter is a believer, but that’s a little different than a spouse) Since I already wake at 5am, along with my older daughter, getting up much earlier would me not sleeping at all. I know that God will give me that way since I no longer have an office at work. Lunch time use to be that quiet time. I would turn off the phone, close my door, and spend my time.

      I am going to make a commitment along with you to limit that time on Facebook. Stop the silly games, and use my time, the time God has blessed me with, in a way that will glorify Him.

      You do touch many with what you do. But it is important not to let our own relationship with Christ falter while doing so.

      God bless you.

      Sue

  3. Georgia Girl permalink

    Mark,
    Thank you so much for this message. I, too, believe this post came just at the time I needed to read it. I have been very anxious about something recently…and now I know exactly what I should try do! THANK YOU! I pray God blesses you for the great works you are doing!

    • Mark Pederson permalink

      All I know is that I have tried to do so many things without God, and it just doesnt work.

  4. Mark Pederson permalink

    I just happened to stumble unto your recent post concerning worrying, and I needed this so bad. I tend to try to do so many things myself, and too keep things to myself because I think I can handle them. Then their are things that are out of my control. For instance I graduated with a MBA last Sept, but am still doing the same old job that I had before as a nursing assistant. I have tried so hard to find something that would allow me to utilize my educaiton, but as you know the econcomy has been terrible. I have been praying and letting go of this concern as well as any concern that I have. That does not mean that I wont try, but when I make an effort it will be after I give it to God, and then he can direct my actions. Thanks for your post

  5. Winnie Pierson permalink

    Mark, This is such a timely message which you have shared here. I used to have my “prayer closet” where I could spend quality time in prayer talking with and listening to God, but have drifted away from that time spent with Him little by little until now I am found praying in the shower. This is too short of time, although I am thankful for that time. You have reminded me of my call to pray and am deeply grateful for that. Yes, Facebook can be time consuming. Time flies by without knowledge. Likewise, the television is also time consuming. Again, thank you for sharing. I feel that you were led by the Holy Spirit to write this timely reminder for me and for us all.

  6. Bo Henry permalink

    My Brother, i came to theconclusion that i was spending to much time on the internet also. So i limted my time on the net. Im taking sermornary classes and spend what time im not at work,studing God Word,and doing home work. Since i am a truck driver i spend a lot of time in prayer, and you sir are one i pray for daily. This page helps me to have a daily devotion that is guided not by me, but by the Holy Spirit. Please keep up the awesome work you are doing not only for people like me but also to the Lord…… May the Lord truly bless you my Brother

  7. teresa permalink

    what a blessing a get each time i get your post. thank you for sharing your faith in god with so many. time is short but gods blessings are many if only we believe.

  8. Dear Rev. Mark,

    Thanks for sharing me your thought on Philippians 4:6-7, you know what? I just got the same situation as you got. I think I need to make a discipline of myself in browsing Facebook. Sometimes I even get behind my time for private prayer and Word meditations. Once again, thanks for reminding me through this reflection! Will start to say a word of prayer for you too!

    Greeting from Indonesia,
    Daniel Adhi Surya

  9. Andrew permalink

    I am impressed with the degree of humility in which you wrote your inspiring note. You are blessed and your daily thoughts are so special to me. Your biblical references are RIGHT ON in struggles I am dealing with, and you are truly needed by your FB friends. If I remain teachable, Jesus smiles upon me constantly. I know because my heart tells me so. God Bless You, Mr. Brown, and I know you will find peace in your praying place. 🙂

  10. Robyn permalink

    I have been struggling with spending a lot of time doing everything but praying. Then questioning myself if i am praying in the correct way or is there really a correct way to pray…thank you for your words and scripture it fits well into my current issues.

  11. Jodi permalink

    Mark-

    I have yet to read one of your posts and not glean information pertinent to my current situation. Thank you for the time you take in posting it.

  12. Sam Assefa permalink

    I have been praying lately more than I have in all my life and your daily posts have helped me focus on my relationship with God and have drawn me closer to reading the bible each day. And that’s what we need to carry on, the world of God. This passage has a special meaning for me, for I have been down and out and burried in fear and anxiety to a point where I start breaking down with the thought of God totaly helpless. But knowing that my God would not want me to hurt or feel anxious, and that he will shoulder my burdens consoles me. I am trying to be in peace with the troubles of this world. God bless you for such words of serenity!

  13. Mike permalink

    Thank you. Just what I needed this morning 🙂

  14. Terri Hefner permalink

    My daughter got me a computer for my birthday(thought I should get up with the times).Then my friend introduced me to this Facebook stuff.It use to be I had my prayer time right after I got up,but now I’m going to the computer that I
    thought I could do without. Since it’s been a few weeks I’m trying to get back on my morning routine-thanking God for this day he has given me and reading his word. I sure have enjoyed reading about your “Journey”.When I get on my knees or bow my head to pray my dog thinks it playtime,so I really need to find a “praying place . Thank you!

  15. Tom Zornes permalink

    Mark,

    I am enjoying your daily ministry. Balance is a tough thing. I am prying for balance, as well. The worrying part I am really trying to give it to God. Matthew 6:25-34 tells us not to worry. Easier said than done. But God will bless us; we just have to trust Him by faith.

    God Bless You!

  16. Taylor Boyd permalink

    Thank you so much!!!!!! I really needed this!!!!! I have been worrying alot and in Jesus name all my worry is gone I have the Peace of God and I thank God for all He has done in my life!!!!!

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