Don’t fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and prayers shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God’s wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It’s wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the centre of your life. Philippians 4:6-7 MSG
In our marriage, I win the prize for worrying. More days than not I lean my head on my husband’s shoulder and ask him, ‘Do you think it will be all right?’ He smiles, gives me a hug and says, ‘Of course it will! Don’t be so anxious!’
Because of this weakness, I love this verse from Philippians and make a conscious effort to put it into practice as often as possible. All too easily a ‘time of prayer’ is in reality a ‘time of worrying’ – going over and over items of concern on our hearts rather than opening our mouths and asking God to intervene.
Instead of fretting over our teenagers reluctance to take his schoolwork seriously, I can pray; ‘Lord, please help him think clearly, to be focused. Strengthen him to do what is right and make him a positive role model for his friends.’
Guess what, since I spoke those very words out, there has been change – not just in his life but more to the point, mine. My husband has been asking God to help me quit worrying too. Funny how prayer works, isn’t it?
Prayer (as a couple)
Heavenly Father, thank you that you know everything about the people and situations that cause us worry. Today we ask you to intervene in these areas and help us to talk to you about them. Please give us the gift of your peace as we do that, together and as individuals. Amen.
Prayer (for others)
Father, we pray for ____ and ____ as they face this worrying situation. Please remind them to talk to you about it, out loud, and guide them to pray specifically for the people involved and important events that will affect their lives. Grant them your peace in believing and trusting you. Amen
Rely on Him – acknowledge your utter need of God’s help in every circumstance.