Summary: Fourth in the series of Christian basics entitled firm foundations this one is called ’Talkling with God.’
Phil 4:4 – 7. Talking to God
You might remember the song by Bobby Mcferrin ‘Don’t worry, be happy!’
We find that most people worry unnecessary Statistics show that; 40% worry over things that don’t happen; 30% of people worry over the past that can’t be changed. 12% worry about untrue criticism 10% of people worry about health issues which gets worse with worry only 8% worry about real problems.
1) The problem paralysing anxiety. V6 do not be anxious about anything
The 21st century has seen arise in anxiety (stress) But it is not a new phenomenon it has always been around. Paul knew what it was to be anxious
Anxiety is often a result of our lifestyle or the circumstances, which hit us in life. We live in a fast moving world where people are continually at work 24/7. Where we expect everything in an instant from instant coffee to instant food.
Anxiety effects us all, it is something, no human being can avoid, even Christians have to experience it. It is an unpleasant emotion, which can be caused by external/internal events or conflicts around us.
We find anxiety in everything we do such as raising a family, personal illness, a sudden accident, an argument, a divorce, a bereavement, financial debt, relationships, conflicts, future events even Church life itself Phil.4:2
Matt.6: 25.Do not worry about your life. Money, life, food, clothing or the body
George Muller said “The beginning of anxiety is the end of faith, and the beginning of true faith is the end of anxiety
Prv.12: 25 An anxious heart weighs a man down.
Symptoms of anxiety in related illnesses such as headaches, lethargy, mood swings, mental problems, ulcers, and high blood pressure, nervous break downs, heart attacks and sometimes even, death itself!
Where do we turn?
People turn to all kinds of things to combat anxiety (stress) in their lives, from shrinks to gurus from meditation to medication from therapies to treatments.
But how is the Christian to deal with anxiety in their life?
2) The prescription is the presence of the Lord. V 5 the Lord is near!
This could mean in light of his imminent return.
I prefer what others say that the Lord is near is referring to the Lord nearness to a believer and the security this brings to them as the Holy Spirit is present through all circumstances.
Psalm 31:20 In the shelter of your presence you hide them.
Psalm.119: 151 Yet you are near O Lord.
The LORD said to Joshau.1:9 “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified, do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”
Paul reveals this to us in Phil:1v19 the help given by the Spirit of Jesus Christ
Under Stalin, 30 Russian peasants were arrested and counted ‘you’ve missed one! Often we can forget the Lord’s presence with us Rom:8: 9,15,16. Gal4: 6
Luke.10.38-42. Mary and Martha.
Jesus said; Matt 28.20 I am with you always to the very end of an age.
The Holy Spirit presence: Jhn14.7The counselor who will be with you forever.
3) The Prescription (the power of personal prayer)
Paul is revealing to us that prayer is the answer to our anxieties we might be facing right now. Jesus said come to me all you who are….
Prayer is a powerful antidote to (stress) in 1982 at a medical conference in London professor Herbert Benson startled scholars by saying that prayer was a powerful antidote for stress: lowering blood pressures heading off heart attacks, stops hammering headaches and even suppresses the pain of cancer.
To be praying people
The prescription here for the believer is putting prayer into action giving everything to God. V6 we see the sharp contrast between not being anxious about anything but in everything by prayer. “Prayer doesn’t change Gods mind it changes us”
Paul was insistent that prayer was the key to combat their anxieties rather than using prayer as a last resort we must use it as a first priority in everything!
Ills: To act on the principle of turning prayers over to God leave them with God!
1Peter 5:7 cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.
Hudson Taylor said “Let us give up our work, our plans, ourselves, our lives, our loved ones, our influence, our all, right into Gods hand; and then, when we have given all over to him, there will be nothing left for us to be troubled about.”
A Christian recently said to me when I was struggling with sleep,‘When you cannot sleep don’t count sheep but talk to the shepherd.’
To be petitioning people v6
There is a triplet of terms to describe our conversation with God the general term is prosseuchomai adoration and worship euchariseto thanksgiving.