Worrier to Prayer Warrior
Read James 5:13-16
"Is anyone among you in trouble? Let them pray. Is anyone happy? Let them sing songs of praise. Is anyone among you sick? Let them call the elders of the church to pray over them and anoint them with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise them up. If they have sinned, they will be forgiven. Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective."
Is prayer the first place you turn when you feel stressed? Why or why not?
Isn't it amazing that the very things that push our panic buttons can catapult us into earnest prayer? Yet prayer should become our first resource, not a last resort as often we treat it. If we let Him, God will transform us from a worrier into a warrior--a prayer warrior, that is. A consistent pattern of prayer will gradually break the pattern of worry and fear. The question is, do we give God our problems and worries all the time and leave them with Him?
In Philippians 4:9 Paul says, "Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me--put it into practice and the God of peace will be with you" (NIV). In other words, don't do this one time and give up if the worry comes back! Keep practicing!
To practice means giving our concerns to God (and give them back if we start obsessing over them again); to practice thanking Him in the midst of difficulties because it's another chance for Him to show Himself mighty in our lives; to practice receiving His peace and dwelling on the positive instead of the negative.
God wants us to give them all to Him: our shattered dreams, deepest burdens, worries, and pain. He can handle them, transforming our panic into peace and our worry into wonder. It's kind of like pouring out water from a pitcher--we pour out these burdens and problems, which makes room for God to pour in His peace, joy, love. So, keep pouring! Keep practicing! Keep praying!
In the simple act of letting go of your fears and problems, you will experience His presence, which is far more wonderful than we can imagine; you will have a changed perspective; you will draw near to God in your difficulty--and He promises to draw near to you (James 4:8).
Lord, help me to make prayer a priority--especially when life is hard. Amen.