Do you have a problem with worry? Maybe you feel emotionally drained at times–worrying about everything from your family to the economy to the condition of the world.
I didn’t have to learn how to worry. It just came naturally as a by-product of an overactive imagination, a curious mind, and a relentless memory. Marriage and a family only brought more responsibility. More things to worry about. I agree with my friend who defines worry with the acronym: W.O.R.R.Y: Worry-Only-Robs-Rest-from-You. It’s true. Worry is exhausting.
I’m inspired by Paul’s letter to some persecuted Christians in the early church. They were always in danger of getting killed, and therefore had lots to worry about. “Don’t worry about anything,” he encouraged them. “Instead, pray about everything” (Philippians 4:6 NLT).
I was struck by the word instead. Paul didn’t just tell them to stop worrying. He said, instead of worrying, we should pray. He encourages us to redirect all that worrisome energy into prayer. What if we make anxiety work for us instead of against us?
This reminds me of a little like a trick I learned back in high school when I took karate in between my sports seasons. I was taught to use the enemy’s energy against him. A violent attack could be redirected to incapacitate my attacker.
The Bible reminds us that we are in a spiritual battle. Let’s reflect on these verses:
“Don’t worry about anything. Instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need and thank Him for all He has done. If you do this, you will experience God’s peace, which is far more wonderful than the human mind can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:6, 7 NLT).
When you are tempted to worry this week, try redirecting all that energy into prayer!