Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:6–7, ESV).
Throughout the day we need little arrow prayers—quick prayers in the car, in the office, in the kitchen. When we “pray without ceasing” (1 Thessalonians 5:17), we are connected to the Lord. But these quick-fire prayers, though important, don’t yield the deepest peace.
Nor does ritual praying. Mindless repetition is unbiblical and won’t bring you peace. Little prayers yield little peace; Big prayers yield big peace.
If you want peace, you must pray biblically. Here’s a practical checklist: fervent prayer, by yourself, out loud, kneeling down, with a list. If you pray like that for five or ten minutes, a river of peace will rush down. Peace is coming like a flood to a person praying fervently to the Lord.
The enemy of your peace is anxiety. And if you are living crippled by anxiety, that suggests your prayer life could use some focused improvement. Review the past month of your life. Have you been fretting over some things? Fearful? Anxious? Worried? Those feelings most likely increased as you moved further and further from your last, fervent prayer time with God.
On a scale of one to ten, how would you rate your prayerfulness over the past month? A score of ten means you are rocking your world several times per day with faith-filled, awesome prayer. Zero means . . . zero. A prayer vacuum in your life. Perhaps you can’t even recall the last time you knelt down and prayed out loud fervently with a list.
On the same scale of one to ten, rate your anxiety level. Zero means you are calm. Nothing deeply divides you. Though bad things happen to you, they don’t rob you of peace. Ten equates to frequently freaking out, crippled by cares, and no peace.
Now notice the correlation. The lower your score in prayer—the higher your score in anxiety. The higher your score in prayer—the lower your score in anxiety. Where fervent prayer abounds, peace abounds.
If you want to lower your score in anxiety, the solution is to raise your score in prayer. This isn’t a mystery. It’s not a function of personality, as if some people are natural pray-ers and others missed out on that gene. Philippians 4:6 clearly links anxiety and prayer. “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.” When anxiety goes up, you must pray it back down.