The Insanity of Anxiety

by Dennis Michelson
(Painesville, Ohio)

Philippians 4:6-7

Introduction: There are a number of tests one can take to determine if they are sane or insane. Believe it or not, it was Alfred Einstein who coined the phrase that insanity was "repeating the same thing and expecting different results."

Have you ever been anxious about anything? Of course you have. What positive result came as a direct consequence of your anxiety? The dictionary defines insanity as "something utterly foolish or unreasonable." A Christian may find themselves suffering from a temporary form of insanity when they experience anxiety.

This text speaks to that point. Prayer is the prescription for anxiety! Lack of prayer when we become anxious is a form of spiritual insanity. The text answers four basic questions about what we ought to do when we suffer an "anxiety attack."

1. When Should You Pray?

  • Nothing - it is a command to stop the anxiety.

  • Everything - this includes anything and everything which causes your anxiety. Just as the previous was a command, this phrase is called a locative of sphere and implies that everything in your circle of anxiety is included.

2. How Should You Pray?

  • Prayer - this is adoration

  • Supplication - this is your application

  • Thanksgiving - this is your attitude

3. Why Should You Pray?

  • Because you have a "request" - notice this is not a demand or a threat.

  • Because you have a God - what does it mean when it says we make something known unto God? Does God need to be informed or do we need to be transformed?

4. How Long Should You Pray?

  • Until your heart is peaceful - emotions

  • Until your mind is peaceful - intellect

  • Until your lack of anxiety seems like insanity - it simply passes all understanding. Those around you will marvel at how you can be anxiety-free in the midst of circumstances which would drive them insane.

Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Jesus Christ.

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