I might have a problem about worrying . . . OK, my name is Melody Turner, and I’m a worrywart. I want to know what’s happening, what’s going on, what the plan is and how we will accomplish it.
I don’t like to feel out of place, out of control, lost or confused.
I worry about what others think of me.
I worry about work and trying my best to not fail.
I worry about the future.
I worry about my family, the holidays, etc. etc. etc.
My husband recently challenged me to keep a “worry journal” in order to see how many of the things I worry about actually happen . . . He was right! I spend too much time coiling myself up into a knot about everything that mighthappen instead of living in the present and being mindful of today. And plus, the majority of the things I worry about never actually come to pass.
Jesus told his disciples, “Don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today” (Matthew 6:34).
So what’s the best way to cancel out worry? Well, if you ask a “worry-holic” like me, I’d say prayer.
If my prayer life is suffering, I find myself worrying about more things and more frequently. And the reverse is also true.
But don’t take my word for it; the Bible backs me up on this:
“Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:6-7)
Have you ever been at a point in your life where it’s difficult to pray? It’s almost like you don’t even know what to say to God anymore and you feel completely and utterly spiritually dry or drained when, in actuality, we can and should talk to God about anything and everything.
Prayer should be personal,and not like an empty greeting card you receive on the holidays . . . All this to say, prayer should be more than lip service or words we feel like we shouldsay because we feel like we have to (anyone feel this way before a meal?).
If I can pray to God about the small things, then not only will I have the faith to pray for the bigger things, but also it means God cares about us so much to listen to the “trivial” things of our lives.
We should go to God with the things that weigh us down, with our worries, our insecurities and trust him to take care of us and give us the peace that surpasses all understanding.
We should ask God for what we think we need and thank him for what we have. Now this doesn’t mean prayer should be asking for wishes like from a genie in a lamp but asking for God’s will and favor with a heart of surrender.
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 puts it this way: “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”
Pray without ceasing? What does that mean? That we should literally alwaysbe praying? No. But it does mean we should have a prayerful mindset, and conversation with God should be normal.
When was the last time you talked to God other than before a meal, in a Bible study, or at church?
Do you have a time and place dedicated for prayer?
Does prayer overflow into all aspects of your life?
I’m a pretty routine person, so I can easily get in the habit of drinking my morning coffee, reading a couple chapters of scripture, and writing my prayer down for the day in my journal . . . then checking that off the list for the rest of the day.
When really, prayer should be more than a box we check off or the means to an end.
Prayer should be common and active throughout my entire life – and not just 20 or so minutes in the morning, and a few hours at church or Bible study for the whole week.
I think this might be why we Christians get labeled as hypocritical so often. Because on Sunday, at church and in fellowship with other believers, we are in a mindset of prayer and humility . . . But if we have not adopted that mindset into the rest of our lives, we could be missing out on God’s peace and other blessings.
Another point to make is we need to pray especially when we don’t feel like it! The days I really don’t know what to say to God or when I don’t want to go to church or when I feel surrounded with doubt and worry. . . . I need God’s presence the most.
A favorite passage of scripture of mine is when Jesus discusses worry during his famous Sermon on the Mount:
“Jesus said, ‘That is why I tell you not to worry about everyday life—whether you have enough food to eat or enough clothes to wear. For life is more than food, and your body more than clothing. Look at the ravens. They don’t plant or harvest or store food in barns, for God feeds them. And you are far more valuable to him than any birds!
Can all your worries add a single moment to your life?
And if worry can’t accomplish a little thing like that, what’s the use of worrying over bigger things?
Look at the lilies and how they grow. They don’t work or make their clothing, yet Solomon in all his glory was not dressed as beautifully as they are. And if God cares so wonderfully for flowers that are here today and thrown into the fire tomorrow, he will certainly care for you.
Why do you have so little faith?
And don’t be concerned about what to eat and what to drink. Don’t worry about such things. These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers all over the world, but your Father already knows your needs.
Seek the kingdom of God above all else, and he will give you everything you need’” (Luke 12:22-32).
I hope those words soothe your heart like they always do for me. You are worth more than a bird or a flower and let those be a reminder to you of how precious you are in God’s eyes.
God is there for you – and we should not have to worry because we know he is God and he is in control. Now I know that’s easier said than done, but hold fast to his promises and his truths.
Don’t lose faith.
And remember, God is always there to listen.
In love and truth,
Copyright © 2020 by Melody Turner @ https://mxtv.org/the-downward-spiral-of-worry/. Used with permission. No part of this article may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from Lifeword.org.