Why Pray When You Can Worry?
Bible Reading: Matthew 6:34
Don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Matthew 6:34
As you think about the upcoming year, are you worried about what might happen? Will money become worthless, sending people back to swapping cows and chickens? Will chunks from a meteor shower land in your backyard? Might a new ice age freeze your eyelids shut or global warming turn your pizza to liquid?
Enough happy thoughts. You can worry all you want about those things, but it won’t do you any good. Just look at what two wise people say about worry:
• Worry never robs tomorrow of its sorrow, it only saps today of its joy. Leo Buscaglia
• Don’t worry about the world coming to an end today. It’s already tomorrow in Australia. Charles Schultz
The best word about worry, of course, comes from Jesus. His instruction? “Don’t.” Paul echoed that thought in Philippians 4:6: “Don’t worry about anything; instead pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done.” The apostle Peter added, “Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about what happens to you” (1 Peter 5:7).
Sure, there will be plenty of things about next year you won’t like—natural disasters, world tension, community strife, rumbles with friends or parents or your piano teacher, or maybe the serious illness of someone you care about. God never promised you a life without problems.
When bad, scary things come up, do you feel a sudden knot of worry in the pit of your stomach? That knot is your reminder that it’s time to pray. Whenever you feel yourself wound tight with worry, don’t let it paralyze you. Instead let it prayer-alyze you. Rush your concern to God in prayer. Tell him straight up how you feel. Fill him in on the people or situations that worry you. Give him the details and invite him to take control of them and you. Keep praying until your worry settles down. And when your nervousness comes back, pray again . . . and again . . . and again.
When you interpret worry as a natural nudge to pray, whatever problems you face won’t be so scary. You’ll take them as opportunities for God to work as you hand them over to him in prayer.
TALK: What worries you most about the next few days? the next month? the next year?
PRAY: Take some time to give all your concerns to God, because he cares for you.
ACT: Pray for and with a friend who is weighed down by big worries.