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  • Chad Werkhoven

Philippians 4:4-9 - Antidote to Anxiety

You're likely "cumbered with a load of care." Unload your anxiety by taking it to the Lord in prayer.

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Read Philippians 4:4-9

Listen to passage & devotional:


Heidelberg Catechism Q&A 121

Q. Why the words “in heaven”?

A. These words teach us

not to think of God’s heavenly

majesty as something earthly,

and to expect everything

for body and soul

from his almighty power.



We spent time in this passage this past May, looking at what it means that the peace of God "will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus." Today we're going to focus on v6, which commands us not to be anxious. What an irony! Nobody really likes or wants to be anxious and worried, yet we need to be commanded not to do it! Anxiety and stress are some of the primary effects of sin, and have been since the beginning when the first thing Adam and Eve did after their sin was to worry about their lack of clothing and how God would react (Genesis 3:6-9).

Today's passage provides the antidote to anxiety: You will experience the peace of God when you:

  • by prayer and petition - The repetition of these synonymous words remind us that you need to be praying often and in many different ways throughout the day in order to quell your anxiety.

  • with thanksgiving - How often don't we miss out on noticing the good things God has given us because we're so wrapped up in the anxiety caused by our immediate problems. There's always a way to give thanksgiving even in the midst of the most dire situations, and as you do this, you'll feel the anxiety melt away.

  • present your requests to God... "(as though God needed to be informed) is but the apostle’s quaint way of expressing the very personal nature of prayer. He is saying, in effect, that prayer is a conversation with, a plea directed to, a request made of, and information given to the supreme Person of the universe, who can hear, know, understand, care about, and respond to the concerns that otherwise would sink people in despair." - Word Biblical Commentary

Dig Deeper

We sing so many songs in our worship services because it is one of the primary ways God's people have always used to praise Him, but singing also benefits us by helping us memorize the promises of scripture. The 19th century hymn "What A Friend We Have In Jesus" captures the calming peace that prayer brings:

What a friend we have in Jesus,

all our sins and griefs to bear!

What a privilege to carry

everything to God in prayer!

O what peace we often forfeit,

O what needless pain we bear,

all because we do not carry

everything to God in prayer!

Have we trials and temptations?

Is there trouble anywhere?

We should never be discouraged;

take it to the Lord in prayer!

Can we find a friend so faithful

who will all our sorrows share?

Jesus knows our every weakness;

take it to the Lord in prayer!

Are we weak and heavy laden,

cumbered with a load of care?

Precious Savior, still our refuge--

take it to the Lord in prayer!

Do your friends despise, forsake you?

Take it to the Lord in prayer!

In his arms he'll take and shield you;

you will find a solace there.

  • ACKNOWLEDGE WHO GOD IS: Our Father, the Lord, who is near (v5);

  • ALIGN YOUR LIFE WITH GOD'S WILL: Pray that in God's strength you will not be anxious about anything;

  • ASK GOD FOR WHAT YOU NEED: Present your requests to God with thanksgiving;


Read the New Testament in a year, a chapter a day - 1 Thessalonians 4


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