I wonder how many things we worry about in the space of a day?
Little things, things we don’t think about for more than a moment or two, big things that may occupy a lot of our day. There is sure a lot to worry about — the latest epidemic is lurking around the corner; engineers and architects make us worry if the structures we build will withstand “the big one,” and who knows when the stock market will have a major correction?
Worry interestingly isn’t just a phenomenon of our modern times. Jesus several times addressed the tendency to worry to the listeners of his day. Here’s a sample of what Jesus had to say:
“Let not your heart be troubled; ye believe in God, believe also in me” John 14. 1
It is part of the human condition to worry. There is something better than to just worry, however, we can pray. Examine the two activities for similarities first.
They both occupy the thoughts of our mind. They both use the same amount of our time. We can do either while we are doing other things. We can do either all of the time. Perhaps there are other similar characteristics, but you will think of those. Next, examine both activities for their differences.
Worry does nothing to change the situation. Worry tends to make small problems big in our minds. Worry increases the feelings of powerlessness and being overwhelmed. Worry is like shadow boxing, lots of time and energy is expended, but you don’t win anything.
Prayer, on the other hand, accomplishes much. When we invite God into our problems by prayer, He changes our perspective on things. Prayer brings closure to our worries as we are able to “cast all our care upon Him” and we don’t have to carry our problems around anymore. Prayer empowers us by linking us to God. Prayer gives us a peace in the midst of disturbing circumstances.
The apostle Paul instructed the believers in Philipi in what to do in the place of worry:
“Be anxious for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the Peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” Philipians 4. 6, 7
When worry only sinks us further in the depths of a troubling time, why not turn our worries into prayers? It’s a great investment in the solution to our troubles.
• Rev. Stephen Brown, for the Peninsula Clarion