by D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones (selected by Frank Cumbers)
Before you ask—adore!
‘This condition of anxiety’, says Paul, ‘is something which is in a sense outside your own control, it happens apart from you and in spite of you’.... The heart and the mind are outside our control.... Here the ‘heart’ does not mean only the seat of emotions, it means the very central part of one’s personality. The ‘mind’ can be translated ... by the term ‘thought’.... The heart has feelings and emotions. If a dear one is taken ill how the heart begins to work! ... Not only that, the imagination ! What a prolific cause of anxiety is the imagination.... In this state of anxiety we spend the whole of our time reasoning and arguing and chasing imaginations. And in that state we are useless.... And so, alas, our testimony is useless. We are of no value to others and above all we lose the joy of the Lord....
What have we to do in order to avoid that inner turmoil? ... [Paul] does not just say, ‘Stop worrying’... [for that] is useless. Incidentally it is also bad psychology.... In the same way the Bible does not say, ‘Do not worry, it may never happen’ ... when I am in this state, my reaction is, ‘Yes, but it may happen’ ... all these methods fail to deal with my situation because they never realize the power of what Paul calls ‘the heart’ and ‘the mind’... [Paul] puts his remedy in the form of a positive injunction. ‘Let your requests be made known unto God’ ... and he has given us particular instructions for the carrying out of his injunction.... First he tells us to pray.... This is the most general term and it means worship and adoration. If you have problems that seem insoluble, if you are liable to become anxious and overburdened, and somebody tells you to pray, do not rush to God with your petition.... Before you make your requests known unto God, pray, worship, adore. Come into the presence of God and for the time being forget your problems. Do not start with them. Just realize that you are face to face with God.
Spiritual Depression, pp. 264–7