3-25-21 Ellie Laita, Youth Director

We had just studied Philippians in my Ladies Bible Study. Thank the Lord, because COVID had us in a grueling lockdown for six months and was taking a toll on our youth. In our discussions and sharing time, some of the students expressed anxiety and depression. They experienced difficulty focusing and feelings of hopelessness and loneliness. We were doing a study on being “All in for the Lord,” and one of the scripture readings we were using proved to be an answer to prayer. It was screaming, “I am the prescription for fear and worry.” God sent us the right words at exactly the right time!

Let me share the verse with you now. Philippians 4:6-7

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God which transcends all understanding, will guard your heart and minds in Christ Jesus.”

In youth group we read these verses and then each of us wrote in our own words what they meant to us.

Looking at my notes, I can share a few of the responses:

“Don’t worry, pray all the time, God wants to listen to you. Then say thanks and God will keep you safe and calm.”

“If things are bad, just pray about everything, all the time. Just trust that God has your back and thank him for that. If you do, you will be surrounded by peace and love. Your inner thoughts and beliefs and dreams will be safe with Jesus.”

“When you are afraid, do this. Just tell God everything that’s going on, ask for his help, because he loves it when we do this and keep thanking him for helping you. Spend as much time as you can thanking God, and every time you do, the peace of God will blow your mind. But that’s not all, everything that’s important to your heart and in your head, God will protect, so you can rest.”

“Worried? Pray nonstop, ask for help, thank God. Then you will receive help. Amazing help. You will be safe.”

I love Paul’s writing but I have to admit, some of my Middle Schoolers nailed it!!

My own thoughts race, keeping me up at night, distracting me during the day. During the last year I had many of these experiences.

Lord, I need you to guard my heart and mind against anxiety and darkness. I need you to quench my thirsty spirit with the promise of new life and a love that never runs out. During this time of great transition for my family, I have lingered in fear until remembering your amazing prescription for worry. Forgive me. I want to receive your lifegiving promises sooner. Thank you for the youth, their growing faith and my own, which I know will always grow because of your constant patience and unquenchable love!