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Four Steps to Banish Anxiety

A scripturally based plan for ridding yourself of worry and fear

By Norman Vincent Peale

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Of all the thousands of letters I have received, the problem of worry is most frequently presented. The following verses helped many to gain victory over worries. Hence we can confidently say, The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid; what can man do to me? (Hebrews 13:6).

Nobody can really hurt you. We do not stand alone in this world for we can turn to God and He will always help us. Fill your mind with thoughts of God; get in harmony with God’s will; eliminate from your mind all feelings contrary to love; practice simple trust. God then can help you.

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Practice thinking less about your worries and more about God. Instead of thinking how difficult your problem is, think how great and powerful God is. This will change your psychology; but more than that it releases spiritual power into your mind. That will enable you to meet your situation intelligently and creatively.

Always repeat this text when you are afraid: “Have no anxiety about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God” (Philippians 4:6).

The method outlined in this verse for casting out anxiety is fourfold: prayer, supplication, thanksgiving and just telling God what you want. When you are worried, stop thinking emotionally and talking in an anxious manner, and pray.  Ask God to relieve you of your fears and show you how to handle the problem that causes the fear. Then, immediately upon asking Him, give thanks, thus expressing your belief that He is answering your prayer, for He is.

“If you sit down, you will not be afraid; when you lie down, your sleep will be sweet” (Proverbs 3:24). It is important when dealing with worry to go to sleep at night in the right manner. If you retire with a mind filled with fear thoughts you will have only superficial sleep, for beneath the surface, anxieties are disturbing you in the deep subconscious.

Therefore when you lie down to sleep, think of God as being with you and watching over you. Place the cares of the day in His hands. Every night say this verse to yourself before you go to sleep. Then, instead of fears in your subconscious, faith in God’s presence will develop a confident approach to your anxiety.

This article is excerpted from the book Navigate: How the Bible Can Help You in Every Aspect of Your Life (Guideposts Books 2013).