What’s On Your Mind?
So, what’s on your mind these days? Really. We can paint on a smile and play the image management games, but inside we all struggle with our thoughts, our stress, our confusion, our fears. Let’s face it…life is hard. Jesus told us it would be. And the past couple of years have a lot of us mentally, emotionally, and even spiritually at a breaking point. So maybe it would do us all some good to honestly talk about it. To remove any stigma, any embarrassment, any “faking fine,” and as a family open up some life-giving dialogue and invite God to meet us there.
weekend in review
This week we are looking deeper to get at the heart of what’s underneath when we say “’I’m scared.” Gene gives us a roadmap for moving from anxiety to peace
Begin with some conversation, checking in on how people are doing. You can talk about whatever you’d like, but here are a few potential questions to get the conversation going.
- What do you look back on as the happiest days of your life? Were that really that good and free of hardship?
- Gene talked about underneath the feeling of being scared is anxiety. He defines anxiety as a tidal wave of “what ifs” that overcome us. Share the what ifs you get anxious over.
- Read Philippians 4:6. What outside force is most likely to upset your circumstances?
- Read Philippians 4:4-5. Gene said that what you believe specifically about God determines how you behave and deal with anxiety. Think about a recent time you struggled with feelings of anxiety. How can taking the time to reflect about what you believe about God influence how you walk through it?
- What would someone who embodies the qualities in verses 4-6 look like?
- The first idea for how to move from anxiety to peace was peace is found between the pillars of God’s goodness and God’s control. Which pillar presents the biggest struggle for you – the belief that God is good or God is in control?
- Think about one thing you are feeling anxious about right now? What does it look like to stand between the pillars of God’s goodness and control?
- Read Philippians 4:6-7. The second idea is that peace is activated when our prayers move from general to specific. Prayer, petition, and requests are all synonyms for prayer. All 3 are words that were used in the original Greek language for prayer, but each is unique. Read over and share which stage you are currently in.
- Prayer – approach and say “I know you can help me God. I know I should pray.”
- Petition means you’re asking help. “God, I need your help. Help me
- Requests to God means I ask for something definite and specific.
- When you feel anxious, is God the first person that you turn to for help? If not where or what do you turn to?
- Specific prayers can lead you to a specific passage of Scripture. Using Google type in exactly what you’re anxious about and then add these two words – “Bible verse.” Take a screenshot of that verse put it on your phone, or a mirror, and every morning, noon, and evening pray over it
WRAP UP & PRAYER
Share prayer requests and spend time praying for each other.
Read Philippians 1:6 – Being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.
Then together say the following two prayers-
God, I’m going to be confident, in spite of the fact that I messed up, you’re doing a good work in my life. You’re not done with me.”
God, I’m casting my anxiety on you now. I’m going to position myself between your goodness and trusting that you are in control.