Praying, Not Worrying

Earlier this week, MizFit had a post about worrying, that she discussed as “praying for what we don’t want.” She wrote about taking action when you can take action, and letting go of the fear if you can’t. As usual, I found her post thought-provoking, and here I am days later, still thinking about it.

I have had periods in my life when anxiety had a tight grip on me, and I took comfort in Matthew 6:26:

Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?

This passage speaks to me as why I don’t need to worry: God will take care of me.

This morning as I was listening to the Morning Prayer podcast, a passage towards the end of Psalm 33 caught my attention:

No king is saved by the size of his army;
   no warrior escapes by his great strength. 
A horse is a vain hope for deliverance;
   despite all its great strength it cannot save. 

This passage gives me another reason not to worry: it won’t do any good. I am powerless against so many things.

Matthew 6:27 also reminds me of the uselessness of worrying:

 Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life[?

While my initial reaction to these reminders of my helplessness is fear, the ultimate message of Psalm 33 is hope:

But the eyes of the LORD are on those who fear him,
   on those whose hope is in his unfailing love, 
     to deliver them from death
     and keep them alive in famine.

Again, the Bible tells me that God will take care of me.

And the Psalm ends with a reminder that instead of worrying, I can put my trust in God:

 We wait in hope for the LORD;
   he is our help and our shield. 
In him our hearts rejoice,
   for we trust in his holy name. 
May your unfailing love be with us, LORD,
   even as we put our hope in you.

I like the words from the New Jerusalem Bible (used in the podcast) even better:

Let your constant love attend us, oh Lord,
   as we put our trust in you.

One of my favorite passages, from Philippians 4:4-7, also speaks to worry and prayer:

Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.

I like the reminder to rejoice always–I am so blessed, I need to remember that. And I really like the idea that even as I am praying I should be giving thanks, because I can trust in God’s steadfast faithfulness.

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5 Responses to Praying, Not Worrying

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