Phillippians 4:6 is what I call a coffee cup verse. It gets splashed around on mugs, tee-shirts, hats, and regalia. It also gets tossed at people going through stress-laden experiences as the be all, end-all, prescription for facing hardship. Frankly, doing so abuses the text and often times sets up that person to feel like a failure.
I’ve been in hard times and read this verse prescriptively. I told myself, “Okay, just stop worrying and start praying.” I tried. I tried REALLY hard. Usually, I failed. I couldn’t just turn off my anxiety because someone said, “It’s now time for you to choose to no longer be anxious.”
So, what’s the problem? This verse is