What is the fiercest counterpunch to anxiety? Prayer. Consider the definition of a counterpunch: a punch thrown in return for one received; to return an attack.
Paul understood the power of the counterpunch. He implored his followers, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God” (Philippians 4:6). When the enemy of your soul attacks you with anxious thoughts, return his attack with a counterpunch more powerful than anxiety: prayer. And do it quickly, then and there.
Pray anxiety away through the prayer of faith. Claim your God is bigger than any anxious thought the enemy throws at you. Satan’s chief weapon is anxiety, but God in his infinite love for us gave us an even more powerful weapon – the prayer of faith.
The prayer of faith claims God’s promises. We pray Scripture over fear. Over anxiety. That’s why we must memorize God’s Word. Scripture must reside in our hearts and minds so that we can retrieve it readily when the enemy attacks. And he will attack. The enemy doesn’t take a day off, and neither should we.
Paul instructs us to pray with thanksgiving. Why thanksgiving? Because when the enemy tries to put anxious thoughts in our minds, we need to both spear the anxious thought and also replace the anxious thought with a positive one. A thankful one. Over the next days and weeks, as we are spending some time social distancing, sit down and make a thanksgiving list. Write down all the things for which you are thankful. The big things, and the small things, too.
Finally, guard your heart. The peace of God will guard our hearts and minds after we’ve presented our requests to God, and replaced our worry with thanksgiving. In Philippians 4:7, the word “guard” refers to a citadel, a place inside the walls of a city that feeds, guards, and protects the people when an enemy attacks. God’s peace is our mind’s protection.
Many of us are feeling attacks of anxiety because of the coronavirus. Let’s heed Paul’s call, protect our minds, give thanks in the midst of uncertainty, and fix our eyes only on Jesus.
Practice this today, and watch anxiety flee.