November 26, 2018
Turning Worries into Prayers
Therefore, I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? (Matthew 6:25)
Friend to Friend
It was just a small errand that turned into a worry fest.
I wanted to send a friend a gift just because, so I packaged it up and placed some stamps on the envelope. I headed for a new “village post office” I had seen in my neighborhood. I figured they could weigh my package and make sure I had put enough stamps on it.
When I arrived at the post office counter which was housed in a gas station, the man at the counter smiled. “You’re in luck,” he said. “The mailman is just about to leave with today’s packages.” I asked if he could weigh my package to double check if the postage was correct. “I’m sorry,” he replied. “We don’t weigh the packages here. We just mail them out.”
Since the mailman was standing right there, I numbly handed the package to him. When I got in the car, I started to worry.
What if I didn’t put enough postage?
What if the gift gets lost?
Did I just waste time and money?
Why did I go to that village post office instead of the regular one?
You know what it’s like when your mind races with regrets and what ifs. And isn’t it true that the small, trivial things of life can fill us with worry? I mean, it wasn’t really a major deal if I mailed the package with too little postage. So many times, the things that consume us in the present aren’t even important a day or two later.
Perhaps that’s why Jesus spent time teaching about worry. He gave examples from nature. If God feeds the birds of the air, won’t He feed you? After all, you are much more valuable. If God clothes the flowers of the fields in such beauty, won’t He clothe you? Matthew 6:31-32 (NIV) says, “So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them.”
Worry means “to divide, tear, rip apart, to pull in opposite directions.” When we are anxious, we are allowing ourselves to be torn apart by our circumstances. Jesus knows that you and I struggle with worry. Maybe that’s why He says “Do not worry” three times in this passage (Matthew 6:25, 31, 34). Jesus gives us solid reasons why we shouldn’t worry. Here are a few:
Worry is not rational. If God cares for the birds and flowers, won’t He also care for us since we are much more valuable to Him? Doesn’t He have enough power to clothe us and take care of our daily needs?
Worry is ineffective. No matter how much you worry, it doesn’t change your circumstances. “Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?” (Matthew 6:27).
Worry is irreligious. When we worry, we act like the pagans who don’t know God and who are living life independently from Him (Matthew 6:32).
So how can we avoid worrying – whether it’s about trivial matters like my post office visit or big matters concerning our finances or health? We find the antidote for worry in verses 33-34:
Seek God first. “Seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.”
Take it one day at a time. “Therefore, do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”
The next time you start to worry, pray instead. Seek God’s face about what concerns you and leave the results in His hands. If He takes care of the little birds and the flowers of the field, He will certainly take care of you.
Thank You that I do not have to worry about what I am going to eat, drink or wear. I cast my cares on You for You will sustain me. You will never let the righteous be shaken. Help me to walk in Your peace today.
In Jesus’ Name,
Now It’s Your Turn
Think of something you normally worry about. Picture yourself in that moment praying instead of worrying. Memorize Philippians 4:6 (NIV) and read it aloud now: “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.”
Did you know you can train yourself to pray instead of worry? Make the choice to worry less and pray more today and in the days to come.
More from the Girlfriends
If you are a mom, you may be very familiar with worrying about your children! If you could use some additional encouragement about praying more and worrying less in your parenting, pick up Arlene’s book 31 Days to Becoming a Happy Mom.
Click here to learn more about hosting a Girlfriends in God conference in your area or having one of the GiGs speak at your next women's event.