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Worries Into Prayers

Worries Into Prayers

14 June 2010

Today’s Reading: 1 Kings 15; 2 Chronicles 13-14; Philippians 4

Scripture:

6 Don’t fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. 7 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 center of your life. (Philippians 4:6-7 MSG)

Worry comes naturally. Uncertainties about the future, problems in our lives, concerns for others – sometimes it seems there’s a lot to worry about. In fact, there are seasons and circumstances when the prevailing wisdom is “if you aren’t worried, you just don’t understand the situation!”

Paul said that the cure for worry is to pray. It’s harder to pray than to worry. Worries don’t automatically become prayers. Worry happens – Prayer requires intentionality!

In order for worries to become prayers they have to be shaped intentionally and directed to God. The swirling pool of anxious thoughts – worries – must be shaped first by praise and then by petition.
• Worry focuses our thoughts on the problem, the things that could go wrong, and creates a smoke-swirl of fear and anxiety that clouds our vision.
• Praise focuses our thoughts on God rather than the problem and “magnifies” him, making him larger in our anxious minds, giving us perspective on his goodness, greatness, and power.
• Petition focuses our concerns and helps us think clearly about the real nature of the problem and the desired outcome.

Then when we present our right-sized concerns to our ever-able God, they are praise-enhanced prayers rather than worries and God begins to lift the burden of anxiety and replace it with a sense of wholeness and peace. It’s hard work, but it’s worth it!

Prayer:

Father, This is a good lesson about worry, praise, and prayer. I’m better at worrying than praying, but I commit to the hard but rewarding work of letting praise and petitions shape my worries into prayer. Thanks for listening and thanks for caring. Amen.

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