Anxiety is a thin stream of fear trickling through the mind. If encouraged, it cuts a channel into which all other thoughts are drained.
-Arthur Somers Roche
From "The Healing Power of Prayer," by Chester Tolson, Ph.D. and Harold G. Koenig, M.D.:
Loneliness can lead to fear and fear can sometimes lead to serious illness. Many medical doctors would agree that a large percentage of disease seems to be rooted in anxiety and fear. Fear is a root cause for many of our negative and depressive thoughts. One study of five hundred people indicated that all together they had about seven thousand distinguishable fears. The group doing the research said that people are born with two basic fears: the fear of falling and the fear of loud noises. All the other fears seem to be aquired. Think of that. Five hundred people burdened with 6,998 unnatural and useless fears.
Some anxiety is a God-given blessing. When faced with a crisis, we intuitively flee or fight. This is our built-in survival system. However, many people carry fear to such a point that their physical and emotional health is hindered. Fear and severe anxiety are well-known predictors of sudden death from heart attack. On January 17, 1994, an earthquake struck near Los Angeles at 4:31 a.m. Millions of people were suddenly awakened with intense fright. Within one hour of the earthquake, the number of persons who died from sudden cardiac death increased to five times what was expected. The same phenomenon of increased sudden death and heart attack was noted following the Iraqi missile attacks in Israel. Evidence also exists that chronic anxiety may increase the risk of sudden cardiac death, and that even low-to-moderate levels of anxiety may be capable of increasing that risk...
As we are overtaken with fear, we should immediately "let go and let God." God becomes our primary defense system. We should let God be our bodyguard. He is always with us and always sovereign.
Our part is to believe. God's part is to enable us to rise above the fear. His love for us does that. God loves you! Our love for one another is the actualization of god's love for us. Love moves us out of self-centeredness into a healthy external relationship with others. This continuation of God's love for us and our love for him and for one another is a way we may overcome fear.
Fear imprisons. Love liberates.
Fear paralyzes. Love empowers.
Fear sickens. Love heals.
Fear makes us useless. Love makes us productive.
We tune into that perfect love in prayer.