Tag Archives: peace

Worry Robs Our Rest

Don’t worry about anything.  Instead, pray about everything…(Philippians 4:6 NLT).

Do you have a problem with worry? Maybe you’re exhausted from worrying about everything from your family to the elections, to the economy, to the condition of the world.  But here’s some good news:  The Lord has given us a secret weapon to use against anxiety. He tells us we can overcome worry through prayer.

Now, I happen to be a world class worrier. 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, and therefore 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.

 So as one who is prone to worry, I’m inspired by Paul’s letter to some persecuted Christians in the town of Philippi. 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.”

I’m struck by that word instead. Paul didn’t just say to stop worrying. He said, instead of worrying, to pray.  He tells us to redirect all that furious, anxious energy into prayer.  To make worry work for us instead of against us!

I get that concept.  It sounds a little like a trick I learned back in high school when I took karate in between 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 daily, we are in a spiritual battle.  So, in a similar way, prayer is one way to use the devil’s energy against him.

When we use all the energy (that we are not using for worry) on prayer,  we can begin to experience gratitude and peace, instead of anxiety.  Paul puts it this way: “Tell God what you need and thank Him for all He has done.” Then, “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).

Reminder: When you are tempted to worry, try redirecting all that energy into prayer!

(Adapted from Sometimes He Whispers, Sometimes He Roars: Learning How to Hear the Voice of God,  By Marilynn Chadwick, Howard Books, 2012).

30 Days of Thankful: Day 22

In everything give thanks,  for this is the will of God…concerning you. (1 Thess. 5:18)

I have been pondering 1 Thessalonians 5:8 as we continue our 30 Days of Thankful. I’m struck by what seems like a double meaning.  Am I to give thanks in every situation because giving thanks is the will of God? Or is God simply reminding me that every situation I encounter is His will for me at the moment?

Perhaps both meanings are true. Everything  I encounter, the good times and the hard times, is God’s will for me. And in each situation, I am to give thanks, because giving thanks is always God’s will for me.

I recently walked through a difficult time with an extended family member who was critically ill. I couldn’t seem to find the words to pray…and even reading the Bible seemed a bit hollow.

But what I could do was to give thanks. To praise God in the midst of the fiery trial actually brought peace. Here’s why I could thank Him:

  • He is still God and He hasn’t changed.
  • He is in control, even if things look out of control.
  • Only He knows what my loved one truly needs.
  • He can bring comfort and peace that defy my own reasoning.
  • He knows how to bring glory to His name through this situation.
  • The burden is not on my shoulders, but on His.

In short, I found thanksgiving to be the most effortless prayer I could pray.  And strangely, as I put the situation squarely into God’s hands, joy began to spring up inside.  A peace that passes understanding.  I’m beginning to have every assurance that God is at work, though I can’t tell you exactly what He’s doing. It’s no wonder that the New Testament words for joy and thanks are so intertwined.  God gives us everything we need, at just the moment we need it, so that we can give thanks to Him in everything.


Day Ten: A Breakthrough Story

Sometimes prayer feels like hard work.  But if we press in and seek God’s heart, we may see our problem with new eyes.  As we have walked alongside Naghmeh Abedini during the 21 Day Fast for Pastor Saeed, I’ve been inspired by how she keeps turning her eyes back to Jesus.

God sees our situation from all sides and knows things we can’t possibly know.  But persevering is hard.  Especially when we carry the weight of prayer for someone we deeply love.  As one friend  discovered,  the person who is most impacted through perseverance in prayer might just be us.  This friend has given me permission to share the following story with you.  Her hope is that it will encourage you to stand firm in your prayers until you see your breakthrough.


By:  A friend who will remain unnamed

For three years I watched my son become increasingly addicted to drugs and alcohol. My husband and I preached, pleaded, disciplined, and of course prayed, to no avail. When I finally realized he would not listen to us, I asked God’s will to be done.  I simply asked God to lead my son to quit for his own reasons, not mine.  (I asked that God please just protect his health and not involve law enforcement!) I wondered how long I would have to wait but I surrendered him to the Lord.  I still prayed for my “pothead” son, but with increasing peace that God would eventually intervene and change my son. Instead, He changed me first!

God made it very clear to me that I was to pray not for the son I was seeing, his character and behavior being veiled by addiction, but rather for the precious child of God he is.  A loyal people person with a loving heart, the gifts of encouragement and leadership, sweet affection, and a fun sense of humor.

It was only after I began to pray for my son as he was created, as God designed him to be again, that God intervened. Was the journey out of addiction painful for him, and for our family? Oh yes, but it could have been so much worse.

Today I am rejoicing that God has led our son through a time of brokenness and out of that valley into a place of freedom, peace and joy again. I am also thankful that God guided me to a place of breakthrough in my prayer life and taught me a lesson about seeing others through His eyes.