Praying vs. Panicking

“Don’t be anxious about things; instead, pray. Pray about everything. He longs to hear your requests, so talk to God about your needs and be thankful for what has come. And know that the peace of God (a peace that is beyond any and all of our human understanding) will stand watch over your hearts and minds in Jesus, the Anointed One” (Philippians 4:6-7, The Voice).

I don’t know about you, but I have my moments of anxiety as well as anyone else. For me, anxiety tends to take me to a future of what ifs and what might happens, where I envision all sorts of scenarios.

I’ve noticed that my anxious thoughts take me to a future with no God in it. I find it’s just me having to solve all my own problems, and none of my scenarios play out very well. Most of what I dread and fear in the future never comes remotely close to happening, yet that never seems to stop the obsessing when anxiety strikes.

The secret is to take every moment of anxiety and turn it into an occasion for prayer. After all, prayer is really about reminding you and me who’s really in charge. When we give thanks for God’s mercies in the past, we find that we can hold fast to the same God in the future to be as faithful.

And that peace? It really does defy all human understanding. Once you’ve decided that you’re not the ruler of your own life and destiny, you let go trying to control every possible outcome and find that God is more than able to take your place. That’s very freeing.

I was reminded yesterday of the truth that when storms and troubles come, you don’t tell God how big your storm is, you tell your storm how big your God is.

 

 

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