“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, 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.” Philippians 4:6-7 (NIV)
Each year when the leaves fall and the seasons change, I enter a state of seasonal depression. The darkness of the autumn months fills me with dread and sorrow that feels never-ending. Maybe it is because some of the most difficult moments in my life happened in the fall, or maybe it’s the physical darkness in the sky each morning when I leave for work and in the evening when I get home. Nevertheless, every year, without fail, the fall season brings about a terrible anxiety that I cannot shake - until last year.
In Fall 2018, I began to learn more about prayer and decided to be more intentional with my prayer life. I started attending the prayer group at The Point with that intention in mind. Little did I know, God would use that group to absolutely transform my life. In one of the first meetings, I shared a prayer request for myself and my mental being during the upcoming months and was immediately prayer for by name. I continued to ask for this prayer and soon after, found comfort in the verses from Philippians 4:6-7 to pray over myself.
Through prayer, God intervened in a big way in my life last fall. Instead of being filled with anxiety and lies from the enemy, I was filled with God’s supernatural peace and surrounded by community. “Peace be with you,” is a phrase I am very familiar with from growing up in the Catholic church, but it never meant more than a simple greeting. I never understood what God’s peace truly looked like until I got to know Him through intimate prayer. His peace fills my body and mind, and overflows into others. Because I have His peace, I no longer feel dread for the new season coming, I am able to better serve my community, and I can face each day knowing I am guarded from the attacks of the enemy.
God does not want us to be burdened and weighed down by anxiety. Instead, He wants us to have a transformative relationship with Him that incorporates our gratitude and surrender to Him through prayer.
What anxieties can you hand over to God right now? Ask God to show you the places in your life that need His guarding and the places that need His peace.
Heavenly Father, thank you for desiring to know what is on my heart and carry it as your burden. Thank you for protecting my heart and filling me with indescribable peace, especially in the moments that seem so dark and hopeless. I pray that you remind me every day to show you gratitude for the comfort you provide.