Big Point: Worry is focused negative thinking, while prayer is focused spiritual thinking.
About 19 million Americans suffer from anxiety disorders, but far more suffer from mild anxiety or worry that has not yet developed into a disorder. For many people today, worry has simply become a mental habit. Automatically thinking the worse case scenario for the events that happen in their lives. It’s also playing the “what if” possibilities over & over in their minds.
This has become the normal for many people, however there is a better way and a better normal. This way leads to less stress, more peace and better health. Philippians 4:6-7 gives us the better way “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.”
So, prayer is the better way. Pray should be our normal response to anything that comes our way. Pausing to talk to God, ask for his help, for wisdom, for courage, for patience. Expressing our frustrations, fears and doubts to him instead of having a negative conversation with ourselves leads to peace. It also leads to better health both physically and emotionally.
Read and Reflect: Read these passages of Scripture several times. Each time you read it emphasize a different word. Then reflect and think about what you noticed.
- “Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you.” 1 Peter 5:7
- “So humble yourselves before God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” James 4:7
- “But you belong to God, my dear children. You have already won a victory over those people, because the spirit who lives in you is greater than the spirit who lives in the world.” 1 John 4:4
- “And so I tell you, keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you.” Luke 11:9
- “But those who trust in the Lord will find new strength. They will soar high on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint.” Isaiah 40:31
Questions to Consider:
- What do you tend to worry about the most?
- What benefits would you gain by praying more instead of worrying?
- What is one thing you could do to remind yourself to pray more throughout your day?
- When was the last time you memorized a passage of Scripture? If it’s been awhile consider memorizing one of the verses in this devotional.
- Memorize one or more passages of Scripture this week.
- Focus on Jesus by reading the story found in Luke 10:38-42
- Make a list of all the things that you are grateful for
- Build prayer into your daily schedule, with reminders until it becomes normal.
I need you now because I am full of stress and anxiety. Reading your Word brings comfort, as I ask you to come and take my heavy burdens. I take each burden, one by one, and lay them at your feet. Please carry them for me so that I don’t have to. Replace them with your humble and gentle spirit so that I will find rest for my soul today. I receive your gift of peace of mind and heart. Thank you that I can lie down tonight in peace and sleep. I know that you, Lord, will keep me safe. I am not afraid because you are always with me. Please keep me daily, Lord, in your perfect peace.