By: Nancy Abiera
“Rejoice in the Lord always [delight, take pleasure in Him]; again I will say, rejoice! Let your gentle spirit [your graciousness, unselfishness, mercy, tolerance, and patience] be known to all people. The Lord is near.
Do not be anxious or worried about anything, but in everything [every circumstance and situation] by prayer and petition with thanksgiving, continue to make your [specific] requests known to God.
And the peace of God [that peace which reassures the heart, that peace] which transcends all understanding, [that peace which] stands guard over your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus [is yours].
Finally, believers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable and worthy of respect, whatever is right and confirmed by God’s word, whatever is pure and wholesome, whatever is lovely and brings peace, whatever is admirable and of good repute; if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think continually on these things [center your mind on them, and implant them in your heart].
The things which you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, practice these things [in daily life], and the God [who is the source] of peace and well-being will be with you.” Philippians 4:4-9
We live in a world where there are so much tensions all around us causing us to feel anxious. The recent headlines of mass shootings in El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio are perfect examples that leave people fearful, anxious, shocked, and traumatized.
There seem to be very limited areas where we can find peace that brings us convenience, happiness and joy. Violence is happening everywhere: shopping places, restaurants/bars, schools, churches, etc. Nowadays , even homes are no longer exempted from such aggression and abuse.
Allow me to define the word ANXIOUS as it is spelled out:
N. Negatively in
X. Xenophobia (unreasonable fear or hatred of strange/foreign things/people)
I. Imaginations &
O. Overwhelmed by
U. Unstable / Unsafe
S. Sabotaging Situations Stressing us out
On the other side is peace. Peace is not the absence of problems but the presence of God (the problem solver) in the midst of problems.
It is amazing how God always provides solutions to every problem we have. When we agree and submit to His will, He bears in us the fruits of the Holy Spirit (love, joy, peace, patience, goodness, kindness as self-control) in our lives.
When we look at the problem, we find more problems as they multiply causing us to be even more overwhelmed driving us NUTS (Negativity, Unbelief, Trauma & Sabotage) bringing us back to past patterns living in WARRS (Worry, Anxiety, Regret/Resentment & Stress) and PRRIDE (Poverty, Rebellion/Rejection, Insecurity, Deception, & Envy).
The question is how do we deal with these anxious thoughts, feelings and actions that can drive us crazy?
I use the acronyms PEACE:
C. Christ Jesus’
Prayer brings us to the presence of God that calms us down. This is the state we acknowledge that He is God and we are not.
When we work, we work and we get stressed out.
When we pray, God works in taking out the stress and we rest in Him. It’s like instant relief from any WARRS including intense suffering. When we fail to PRAY, the enemy PREYS on us.
When we PRAY, God uses us as instruments for healing ourselves and others.
Otherwise, the enemy uses us as a PREY to cause more destruction and chaos to ourselves and others.
In other words, we can choose to be used by God for good or be used by the devil which is not good.
I used to pray only because I need to in times of emergencies.
I call this 911 prayers.
For non-emergency matters, I have a list of things I ask and petition God to do. I call this TO-DO LIST prayers.
Later in life, I learned that prayer is a lifestyle. In other words, prayer life is in constant connection with God whether in silence (listening) or talking (communicating). It’s a dialogue between me and my God not a monologue where I used to do all the talking but not listening.
I further learned that God has a love language and speaking His love language is the most effective prayer. I just agree with Him as written in His love letter to me (The BIBLE:
I. Instructions from God for
L. Living in Excellence on
E. Earth before dying)
As I mentioned earlier, I agree with God rather than being deceived arguing with Him.
Moreover, when we deal with problematic situations, prayer helps us feel that we are not alone but God is working in us, beside us and all around us.
Isolation and working by myself brings I-LLNESS.
When God is invited to come alongside and help, the “I” in Illness becomes “WE” in WEllness. Illness turns to Wellness. WOW! (Word of Wisdom).
In summary, prayer has many beneficial effects.
1. PRO-youth or Anti-aging relief from chronic worrying.
2. PRO-peace or Anti- stress calming us to be still and know Him deeper that He is God.
3. PRO-solution or Anti-problem as it is the best shield in problem prevention as God gives us divine solutions and/or wise instructions.
Pray to God and your mind becomes the Pray-ground for God’s Power, Life, Prosperity, Order and Blessings.
Otherwise, your mind becomes the Prey-ground where the devil PLAYS causing destruction, death, poverty, chaos and curses.
The choice is yours.
Dear God, we come to with humble hearts in the spirit of unity in prayer m especially for the families who lost their loved ones in the shootings in Texas, Ohio and other places experiencing violence all across the globe.
We renounce every form of fear, anxiety and worry all around us.
We pray that You May use us as vessels for peace locally, nationally and globally. In the Name of the Father, Son Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit. Amen.
Always “Choose On A Bright Side”. I love you readers with the love of the Lord yet the Lord loves you the most.
Smile and be a blessing! The Rev. Nancy H. Abiera