Don’t fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God’s wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It’s wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life. (THE MESSAGE)
Why is it that sometimes in times of anxiety we pray about what is bothering us and we experience no change at all in our mindset? We worry, we pray, we worry again and we pray again.
It can be because prayer has become ‘worry speech’. We are focussing on our anxieties, chewing over them and then adding an ‘amen’ at the end. We have not surrendered our concerns to God. In fact we may be barely conscious of the presence of God at all.
Some of this can be put down to our imperfect human nature. But some of it can be blamed on our neglecting to put our petitionary prayers in the context of praise and thanksgiving. This shifts the focus from our worries to the God to whom we bring our worries. Gratitude and praise enable us to get into our anxious heads the truth that God is loving and powerful, that he is able and willing to help us.
When anxious we do tend to rush to God and unload it all on him. He can take the load and does not despise us. But taking time to give thanks and to praise him is our way of getting focus right and helps our prayers bring the peace he promises. By praising and thanking him, we are not just following some prayer protocol but truly putting first things first.
Hope 103.2 is proudly supported by