I’ve been thinking about a time in my life when I was feeling really down, but for no reason I could put my finger on. Things were going reasonably well at that point in my life. In fact there were some distinctly positive possibilities on the horizon. But still I was experiencing this slight depression, and couldn’t understand why.
Then one morning I was awakened at about 4 am. I say “awakened” because I’m sure it was the Lord who woke me. Unable to get back to sleep, I began praying about why I was feeling the way I was. Suddenly, as if from nowhere, the word “insecurity” appeared in my mind. I immediately understood.
I was facing a financial issue at the time that I wasn’t sure how to handle. I was determined not to worry about it, but now I realized it was still lurking in the back of my mind, and I was feeling insecure. Then, as if to reinforce the lesson, I opened my Bible, and my eye fell on this verse:
Proverbs 12:25 (NKJV) Anxiety in the heart of man causes depression, but a good word makes it glad.
Wow! That exactly described what had been bothering me. It was my unacknowledged anxiety about my finances that was making me feel depressed. The mistake I had made was in assuring myself that I wouldn’t worry about that issue, then trying to push it out of my mind. It didn’t go! It just hung around in the recesses of my consciousness, causing anxiety I didn’t even know I had.
My problem was that I had neglected to fully apply one of my favorite passages of Scripture:
Philippians 4:6-7 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; 7 and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
God’s prescription, when we have anxiety about some issue in our lives, is for us to bring it directly to Him, and ask Him for the answer we need. Then we can confidently expect the peace of God to replace anxiety, insecurity, and depression. I’m sure I did pray about my situation, but here’s where I fell short. Having prayed, I tried to put it out of my conscious mind, telling myself I would not worry about it any more.
What I needed to recognize was what Jesus taught in the parable of the widow and the unjust judge:
Luke 18:1 Then He spoke a parable to them, that men always ought to pray and not lose heart,
We ought ALWAYS to pray and not lose heart. In other words, as long as an issue is on our minds, we ought to pray until it is resolved. The Bible never teaches “once and done” praying. Rather, over and over it emphasizes being faithful in prayer until God answers. That’s how we receive and keep “the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding.”
So, now, instead of trying to push issues that concern me out of my mind, I pray about them whenever they come to mind. In fact, any feeling of anxiety or depression simply becomes a trigger for prayer. The result is that I have a lot more of that peace of God than I ever experienced before.