BY PR DR JEREMY CHEW
“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
Do not be anxious about anything? That’s easier said than done. What could Paul be thinking?
I discovered that I have been feeling anxious these past few weeks. It started with the recent tightening of safe management measures. I am perturbed by the new requirement to swab and conduct self-tests every week. Others seem to take this as a simple protocol, but I felt a great resistance towards it. I talked to the Lord in my prayers and He uncovered a fear in my heart. Ever since my wife passed away, I have been wary of any physical health test. I am fearful that I will find something wrong with me. Yes, I am the proverbial ostrich that sticks its head in the sand. This fear was well kept at a distance until now. Now, it is something I have to face on a weekly basis.
“Do not be anxious!” Paul commanded. I figured that if the Bible puts it as a command, it will have to be something I can obey. This command would be better translated as “Stop worrying!” It is not talking about an occasional concern, but a habitual anxiety that something is going to be wrong and that life will fall apart when that happens. “Stop it lah!” Paul might have said if he were a Singaporean. “How can?” I would have replied. “By prayer,” Paul would have answered. Phil 4:6 tells us that the way to stop worrying about anything is to pray about everything.
This command also comes with a promise -- God’s peace. The next verse tells us that when we commit every anxiety to God in prayer, “the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (Phil 4:7). When we habitually worry about things that have not happened, it shows that we have not fully entrusted ourselves to God. Perfect peace comes to us when we fix our mind firmly on the Lord (Isa 26:3).
I have decided to trust God at His Word and face my weekly fear. I pray you will too. We also do not have to face this alone. We can pray together as the Body of Christ. Let us join our hearts as a church as we enter into a time of prayer and fasting this weekend.