This year, something different has been on my heart.
I blogged recently about a little boy in our Christmas program at church and the fantastic way he read a specific Bible verse. And that verse has come up a few times since then.
I started thinking that I should determine a Bible verse for the year. And that one verse kept coming to mind.
Even this morning, I was thinking I would sit down and spend some time in the Bible, looking for "my" verse for 2014.
First, I checked my email. I get a daily devotional from The Upper Room. And the Bible verse that the day's devotional is based on? Yep - it's that specific verse. And specifically, someone who was dealing with depression.
Last summer after a lengthy hospital stay, I struggled through a deep depression. After listening to a recording about eliminating fear, I got out an index card and wrote out Philippians 4:6-7. I stuck it up on my bathroom mirror and soon had it memorized.
Right away, I noticed a difference in my thinking. When I began to worry, the words of scripture came right into my mind as if God were speaking to me: “Do not be anxious about anything,” followed by the admonition to pray. Right then, I’d pray about my worry; and almost immediately, it would vanish. Over and over again, my prayers were answered. Wow! It was all true, just as the scripture said. God’s peace has helped me to keep my mind and heart focused on Christ Jesus.
My depression finally lifted in the autumn. I used many methods to work through the depression, including counseling, medication, and exercise. It all helped, but nothing was more effective in lifting me out of the darkness than God’s clear words in Philippians 4:6-7.
Christina Friberg (Colorado, USA)
Now, I am not trying to suggest that prayer is going to be a magical cure all that will make any worrisome situation have the outcome that I desire. Prayer doesn't work that way. But turning to a conversation with God as a first response... that is always the best choice. It doesn't have to be 30 minutes on my knees. It can be a quick moment of simply calling out to Him. Prayer has many forms. And my worries? Well, they aren't always just for me. I worry about friends dealing with in-laws and ailing family members, I worry about family members with difficult relationships, I worry about friends in financial difficulties, I worry about friends who have pulled away, I worry about trusting my friends. Yes, I pray for them. But I usually worry and mull it all over first. Instead, I need to pray first.
Pray and be thankful.
So my verse for 2014 is Philippians 4:6 and my word for 2014 is Prayer.