2-session short devotional series done for a magazine while I was still a teenager.
6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Phil 4:6-7 (NIV)Being anxious is something everyone does all the time. But worrying only wastes time. Think of the last time you were asked a question on a test. You narrowed the answer to two choices but couldn't remember which one it was so you began to worry that you would get it wrong. Maybe you sat there for a while and nervously looked at it without answering. You knew you could have answered other questions in that time but you worried about that one instead.
Paul tells us to not worry about anything at all. In the time it takes to worry - which doesn't change a thing, he suggests asking God to help you with whatever life throws at you - and God always answers your prayers! When you are faced with something you can worry about today, ask God to help you and see He gives that peace to you.
16 Be joyful always; 17 pray continually. 1 Thes 5:16-17 (NIV)How can you be joyful when the world is crashing down around you? There's a difference between joy and happiness. Happiness hangs from the strings it's attached to. However, be encouraged that joy is not conditional. It is constant and deeper than happiness. Your joy is what Jesus is daily doing in you no matter what happens. The key to having and showing this joy is to decide right here and now that no matter what hits you today, you are going to remember the joy inside you and live it out.
How can we always be praying? Won't that look weird to your friends? The Scripture doesn't mean to make praying visible but from the inside. How can Satan attack you if you always have your shield (prayer) on? More than that, how much more you can know God if you pray without ceasing!