Jim Burns Homeword Daily Devotional for Parenting and Christian Family

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HomeWord - May 15, 2008

Lord, Be My Peace 
This devotional was written by Leslie Snyder

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, 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

Anxiety is real.  In fact, it is so prevalent it has its own medical classification and a myriad of medications to help lessen its often paralyzing effects.  While a little anxiety is common – like when a deadline is looming at work or school, or when you’re signing that loan for your first house – anxiety that lingers or that surrounds every decision is a sign that something deeper is occurring. 

At the core of anxiety is worry.  But hear what Jesus says about worry,

Do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear.  Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes?  Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them.  Are you not much more valuable than they?  Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?  And why do you worry about clothes?  See how the lilies of the field grow.  They do not labor or spin.  Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all  his splendor was dressed like one of these.  If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?  So do not worry, saying, “What shall we eat? Or what shall we drink?” or “What shall we wear?”  For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them.  But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.  Therefore, do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself.  Each day has enough trouble of its own. Matthew 6:25-34

I find it interesting that despite the Scriptural challenges, even those including our Savior’s words that we ought not worry, many of us still find anxiety to be a daily companion. Still, we are in good company with our fellow believers over the centuries.

The early Christian Fathers used what is called a “breathe prayer” to help those experiencing anxiety.  We use it in our ministry today. It is simply this:  As you inhale, say the words “Jesus Christ is Lord” to yourself, then, as you exhale say the words, “Lord, be my peace.”  Repeat this pattern until you feel your anxiety lessen or go away completely. 

Today, if you are feeling anxious, give this “breathe prayer” a try, and may God’s peace be with you.

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Remember, this is prayer, not something you need to fear.  It is rooted in Scripture and helps us to focus on the presence of Christ with us

Psalm 19:14, 104:34; Isaiah 26:3

Leslie Snyder is a youth and family ministry veteran currently serving in the Kansas City area with her husband and three kids

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