Buffering Against Stress and Negative Emotions

“Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank Him for all He has done.”

Philippians 4:6
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41. Health Benefits of Prayer

Source: Twin Research & Human Genetics – In the Netherlands, researchers at the University of Amsterdam looked at the effect of a religious upbringing on neuroticism, which means a tendency to experience negative emotions, such as anxiety, anger, guilt, and depression, and to view life situations as threatening or hopelessly difficult. People who have such a disposition are more adversely affected by stress.

The study examined adults over the age of 25, including 4,369 twins and 1,304 siblings from 2,698 families. It found that people who had a religious upbringing were less likely to manifest neuroticism, even if they were genetically predisposed to the condition.

Spiritually: The Bible New Living Translation (NLT)Philippians 4:6-9 stated,6 Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. 7 Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus. 8 And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise. 9 Keep putting into practice all you learned and received from me—everything you heard from me and saw me doing. Then the God of peace will be with you.”

Life Application: iLumina Bible Studies – Attitudes of joy and gentleness, combined with constant awareness of our Lord Jesus Christ’s return, should dispel any worry. Born-Again Christian believers should not set aside life’s responsibilities so as not to worry about them; Paul was focusing on believers’ attitudes in daily life and as they faced opposition and persecution. Christians are to be responsible for their needs and their families and to care about and be concerned for others, but they are not to worry (Matthew 6:25-34).


Worrying is bad because it is a subtle form of distrust in God. When believers worry, they are saying that they don’t trust that God will provide and they doubt that He cares or that He can handle their situation. Paul offered prayer as an antidote to worry. Instead, pray about everything. Prayer combats worry by allowing us catharsis or a purifying or figurative cleansing of the emotions. We can off-load our stress onto God. Paul said to take all the energy that is used in worrying and put it into prayer. This includes praying about everything. No request is too small, difficult, or inconsequential to God. Paul encouraged the believers to pray about what they need and then to thank God for all He has done. It may seem impossible not to worry about anything, but Paul explained that this can happen if believers truly give their worries to God. Worry and prayer cannot coexist.

On verse 7, we can learn the lessons from the Philippians. If the Philippians would take to heart Paul’s words in Philippians 4:4-6, then they will turn from anxiety to prayer and be filled with God’s peace. This peace is different from the world’s peace. It is peace that our Lord Jesus Christ promised His disciples and all those who would follow Him (John 14:27). True peace is not found in positive thinking, in absence of conflict, or in good feelings; it comes from knowing that God is in control. Believers are given peace with God when they believe (Romans 5:1), and they have the inner quiet of the peace of God as they daily walk with Him.


God’s peace is far more wonderful than the human mind can understand. Such peace cannot be self-generated; it comes from God alone; it is His gift to us in a difficult world. As with so much of God’s dealings with humanity, we cannot understand it, but we can accept and experience God’s peace because of His great love for us.


Why does God give His people peace? Because it will guard their hearts and minds. The Greek word for “guard” is a military term that means to surround and protect a garrison or city. The Philippians, living in a garrison town, were familiar with the Roman guards who maintained watch, guarding the city from any outside attack. God’s peace is like soldiers surrounding believers’ hearts and minds (that is, emotions and thoughts), securing them against threatening and harmful outside forces.

Reference: The Mind Health Report – Special Report from Newsmax

THE PRIORITY OF PRAYER by Dr. Charles Stanley of InTouch Ministries https://www.intouch.org/watch/the-priority-of-prayer

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