Stop Worrying and Pray

Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.

Philippians 4:6-7 (NLT)

I am a problem-solver, particularly when it comes to things like computers and technology (just ask Bev!). I love the thrill of investigation, finding the pieces of a puzzle, and then seeing the fruits of my labors when a problem gets fixed. There’s also a good bit of Dutchman in me (my last name is Zondervan after all), so I really like the idea that I can figure things out by myself.

So it came as quite a shock eight years ago when all my best thinking and efforts couldn’t find an answer to chronic pain. As a Christian I knew I should find both confidence and comfort in bringing my requests and needs before the Lord, but in reality I found a big old mess of doubt, fear, anxiety, and shame. If God didn’t heal, what did that say about me? Fear replaced faith, and eventually I found I could barely pray at all.

Joni Eareckson Tada understands fear, anxiety, and worry - 50+ years of quadriplegia, chronic pain, and 2 rounds of cancer. Eeek! She can’t flex many of her physical muscles, but these struggles have provided ample opportunity to exercise and strengthen her spiritual ones. How? By following the words of Paul from Philippians 4:6-7, where he says this:

Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand.

Stop worrying; start praying - and if you can’t stop worrying, ask God to help you! Joni put it this way:

Here are two strong commands in quick succession: Stop worrying. Start praying. It truly is the answer. If anything—anything—disturbs your peace, take it immediately to God. Lay it before Him, and then let it go. If you have to do this a thousand times a day, then do it! God’s peace will filter back into your heart like a protective shield. That’s His promise.

I know what happens when I let worry take over my mind; I get wound up so tightly in my head that I experience a kind of spiritual and emotional paralysis. Looking back I now believe it’s what kept me home-bound and unemployed for almost 4 years! Praise God he helped me find a way out! Are you worried about something today? Take that first and most important step - stop, get on your knees, and ask God for his help and a renewed mind. As Tauren Wells sings in the song you’ve likely heard here at KCWN, “Strongholds start to break when we pray.”