When was the last time you lay awake at night, tossing and turning, because your mind was full of worries? Maybe you’re a sound sleeper and this is not your experience. If so, congratulations! For some of us, waking up in the middle of the night and stewing over what has ALREADY happened in the past and stewing over what MAY happen in the future is a regular reality.
Maybe you’re a daytime worrier. Negative thoughts threaten to overwhelm you and steal your joy. How do we break out of this vicious cycle?
The following verses from a veteran disciple have always helped me to aggressively confront worry. Petitions shift my burdens onto Papa God’s incredibly broad shoulders. Praises corral my anxious thoughts into a healthy focus on His absolutely trustworthy character. Eventually, Jesus-WITH-me pushes worry away from the control centre of my brain. (And I go on to the next challenge in life…)
Don’t fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises 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 center of your life. Philippians 4:6-7 (The Message)
When I am in my right mind (and I wish this happened more frequently…),I ask God to help me “shape my worries into prayers”. When I can petition God with the needs I encounter (needs that usually feel overwhelming) and when I can praise Him for who He is and how He will intervene in my life, I gain valuable perspective on my life. Eventually, that sense of “everything coming together for good” helps me to settle down.
Do I have any fellow worriers out there? What helps you “shape your worries into prayers”? Does this whole exercise seem counterintuitive (especially for control freaks)? Of course it does…I invite your feedback.