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Have No Anxiety – A Lesson Plan on Trusting In God

About this Have No Anxiety Lesson Plan

This Have No Anxiety reflection on Philippians 4:6-9 encourages youth to consider how trusting in God can alleviate fear and help us to live in freedom. Its central theme revolves around the intricate relationship between anxiety, trust in God, and the pursuit of a life characterized by freedom and inner peace. Rooted in the belief that faith can be a powerful antidote to fear, the plan features a well-rounded array of engaging activities and thought-provoking discussions meticulously designed to cultivate a profound comprehension of these profound concepts among participants.

Exploration of Anxiety: At its core, this lesson plan invites participants to embark on a meaningful exploration of anxiety, a universal human experience that often goes unaddressed. By acknowledging and discussing their fears, both big and small, participants are encouraged to confront the very emotions that may hinder their personal growth and well-being.

Trust in God as a Beacon of Hope: Throughout the lesson, trust in God is presented as a beacon of hope and a source of solace. The plan offers a safe space for youth to ponder the role of faith in managing and eventually transcending anxiety. Through meaningful activities and discussions, participants are guided to consider how placing their trust in a higher power can provide them with the strength to navigate life’s uncertainties.

Opening Game for the Have No Anxiety Lesson Plan

Start this lesson plan by playing Fearful Finds Relay. In this game, players put their hands in a box of unknown substance to find coins. It is a test of if they can overcome their fear of what they might be touching. See the complete instructions here.

Follow up with a few questions:

  • How difficult was it to reach into the unknown?
  • Did your familiarity with the leaders who set up this game make you more fearful or less?
  • How is this game connected to the concept of trust?

Have everyone get comfortable. Continue with some warm up questions. Explain that we are going to talk about anxiety and fear. When sharing, it is OK to share big fears or smaller fears. And this is a safe space to talk about the things we are anxious about.

  • What were your biggest fears this week?
  • What are some things you are anxious about in general?
  • How do you usually deal with your fears?

Now that we’ve had a chance to reflect on our own fears and anxieties, let’s turn our attention to scripture as a source of wisdom which provides us with guidance and comfort. In the scripture we’re about to read, we’ll discover profound insights on how to address anxiety and find peace. So, let’s take a moment to center ourselves as we delve into Philippians 4:6-9. Please listen carefully to the words, as they offer valuable perspectives on how trust in God can help us navigate the challenges of life.

Scripture Reading for the Have No Anxiety Lesson Plan

Now read Philippians 4:6-9:

Brothers and sisters: Have no anxiety at all, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, make your requests known to God. Then the peace of God that surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is gracious, if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.

Keep on doing what you have learned and received and heard and seen in me. Then the God of peace will be with you.

Philippians 4:6-9 – the second reading for the 27th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year A

Discussion for the Have No Anxiety Lesson Plan

As we delve into Philippians 4:6-9, it’s essential to dissect the key elements of this passage, particularly the mentions of prayer, petition, and thanksgiving. These words hold profound significance in the context of addressing anxiety and finding solace in faith. Take a moment to reread the passage if necessary, as it will serve as a foundation for our discussion.

The passage encourages us to approach God with our worries through prayer and petition. These are indeed effective means of laying our anxieties at His feet. But notice the inclusion of “with thanksgiving.” This addition prompts us to consider the role of gratitude in our relationship with God. (Reread the passage if necessary.)

Gratitude, as we know, doesn’t magically erase our problems. It doesn’t make life’s challenges disappear. However, it serves as a powerful reminder of how God cares for us daily. It’s a tangible way to acknowledge the countless blessings, big and small, that grace our lives. In doing so, we recognize that even when circumstances don’t align with our desires, there’s hope that everything will ultimately be okay.

So thanksgiving plays a crucial role when addressing our fears in conversation with God. Expressing gratitude serves as a powerful reminder of His presence in our lives. When we acknowledge and appreciate the blessings we’ve received, it fosters a sense of closeness to a higher power. This acknowledgment of God’s goodness can bring comfort and reassurance during moments of fear and anxiety. It transforms our communication with God from a mere plea for help into a profound expression of trust and appreciation.

The essence of having no anxiety lies in genuine trust in God. This trust extends beyond the belief that everything will work out exactly as we envision it. It’s about acknowledging that we are held in the caring hands of a higher power, and that trust can provide a profound sense of peace, even in the face of life’s uncertainties.

The way to have no anxiety is to really trust in God.

Reflection Questions for the Have No Anxiety Lesson Plan

  • Why is thanksgiving important when we are speaking to God about our fears?
  • What is the impact of remembering the good things in our lives?
  • Can gratitude also bring a sense of calm?
  • How can practicing gratitude influence our relationships with others?
  • In what ways can we cultivate a habit of gratitude in our daily lives?
  • How can we support each other in times of anxiety and fear through expressions of gratitude?
  • Can gratitude be cultivated even in challenging circumstances?

Challenge for the Have No Anxiety Lesson Plan

This week, when you are feeling anxious about something, take a few moments to thing of three things (big or small) that you are grateful for. And be specific. These could be things like a conversation with a friend, a really good cookie at lunch, a compliment somebody gave you, a beautiful sunset, etc.

If you can, find a quiet spot and really revisit these moments in your imagination. Then pray about your fears, remembering that God provides so many good things in our lives.

Prayer for the Have No Anxiety Lesson Plan

As we draw this lesson to a close, let us turn our hearts and minds towards a moment of reflection and prayer. The insights we’ve gained today about anxiety, trust in God, and the power of gratitude have provided us with valuable tools for navigating life’s challenges. Now, in this moment of stillness, let us come together in prayer to offer our intentions and seek comfort in our faith.

Close by offering intentions about what is causing anxiety and praying this Prayer to God My Hope in Time of Fear.

Themes for the Have No Anxiety Lesson Plan

  • Anxiety and Fear: The central theme of the lesson plan is the exploration of anxiety and fear, both common human experiences. Participants are encouraged to acknowledge their fears and anxieties, fostering an open and supportive environment for discussing these emotions.
  • Trust in God: The lesson plan emphasizes trust in God as a means of addressing anxiety. It explores the idea that faith and belief in a higher power can provide strength, comfort, and a sense of security during times of fear and uncertainty.
  • Gratitude: Gratitude is a recurring theme throughout the lesson plan. Participants are encouraged to practice gratitude as a way to manage anxiety. The plan highlights the role of thanksgiving in fostering a positive perspective and acknowledging God’s care in daily life.
  • Reflection and Contemplation: The lesson plan promotes self-reflection and contemplation. Participants are prompted to reflect on their fears, consider the impact of gratitude, and engage in thoughtful discussions about their beliefs and experiences.
  • Community and Support: The lesson plan recognizes the importance of a supportive community. It encourages participants to engage in discussions and share their thoughts and experiences, fostering a sense of belonging and support among group members.
  • Prayer and Spirituality: As a spiritual lesson plan, prayer is an integral theme. Participants engage in prayer as a means of addressing anxiety and seeking solace in their faith.
  • Hope and Inner Peace: The lesson plan ultimately conveys the message of hope and inner peace. It suggests that through trust in God and the practice of gratitude, individuals can find comfort and serenity even in the face of life’s challenges.

Background Material for the Have No Anxiety Lesson Plan

Anxiety is a part of being human, and Catholic teachings acknowledge this reality. While it’s natural to feel anxious at times, Catholicism emphasizes that it shouldn’t overwhelm us. The Bible, in Matthew 6:25-27, advises believers not to fret over worldly matters, reminding us of God’s care and providence. Catholic teaching aligns with this, stressing that faith in God can ease anxiety. The Sacrament of Reconciliation, where Catholics confess their sins and seek forgiveness, offers relief from anxiety’s burden. By turning to God through prayer and the sacraments, Catholics find solace and strength in their faith, knowing God is with them in distress.

Gratitude is a core virtue in Catholic theology. Catholics are taught to be thankful for God’s blessings and gifts. The Catechism tells us:

The Eucharist is a sacrifice of thanksgiving to the Father, a blessing by which the Church expresses her gratitude to God for all his benefits, for all that he has accomplished through creation, redemption, and sanctification. Eucharist means first of all “thanksgiving.”

CCC 1360

The Eucharist is a thanksgiving celebration for Christ’s sacrifice. Gratitude is woven into Catholic worship. Additionally, Catholic teaching underscores gratitude in daily life, recognizing God’s goodness even in small things, fostering contentment and trust. Gratitude is not just an emotion but a way of life in Catholicism, acknowledging God’s providence and generosity.

Catholic teachings on anxiety and gratitude center on trusting God to ease anxiety and embracing gratitude as a way of life. Through prayer, the sacraments, and gratitude practice, Catholics find peace in their faith, even amidst life’s challenges.

Helpful Quotes:

Psalm 34:4-5: Seeking the Lord delivers from fear, radiating inner peace and confidence.:

I sought the Lord, and he answered me and delivered me from all my fears. Those who look to him are radiant, and their faces shall never be ashamed.

Psalm 34:4-5

Matthew 6:25-27 (Sermon on the Mount): Encourages trust in God’s providence over material worries, emphasizing God’s care for His children:

Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?

Matthew 6:25-27

St. Teresa of Avila: Urges us to find peace in God’s unwavering presence and patience, highlighting that God alone suffices:

Let nothing disturb you, let nothing frighten you. All things pass away. God never changes. Patience obtains all things. Whoever has God lacks nothing; God alone suffices.

St. Teresa of Avila

St. John XXIII: Shifts focus from fears to hopes, dreams, and potential, motivating us to overcome limitations with trust and gratitude:

Consult not your fears but your hopes and your dreams. Think not about your frustrations, but about your unfulfilled potential. Concern yourself not with what you tried and failed in, but with what it is still possible for you to do.

St. John XXIII

Pope Francis: Encourages making decisive life choices with faith, assuring that the Lord won’t abandon us.

Dear young people, do not be afraid of making decisive choices in life. Have faith; the Lord will not abandon you!

Pope Francis

These quotes resonate with the Catholic teachings, emphasizing trust, gratitude, and finding peace in faith.

Youth Ministry Lesson Plans

Youth Ministry Lesson Plans and Reflections

Lesson plans are meant to give a framework for introducing information to youth. This Have No Anxiety lesson plan is part of a larger set. Most of these also include reflection questions for small group sharing. These help youth think about how to apply what they have learned to their everyday lives.

Frequently Asked Questions for the Have No Anxiety Lesson Plan

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