In our church service today the sermon was on worry, from Philippians 4:1-9. One of the points the pastor made is that worry is much like prayer. I was immediately intrigued. He said that in both worry and prayer problems are mulled over. And then he brought out the difference.
When we worry, he said, we mull over our problems with no or very little thought of God. Our focus is on our problems and our thoughts seem to pull us in a downward spiral with no solution. When we pray we also mull over our problems, however, we are doing it with a constant awareness that God is present and is listening to us. The result is that we aren’t pulled down in despair over our problems, rather we are lifted up in hope and peace, because—well, that is just what happens! We have nothing to do with it. God does it. Yes, when we mull over our problems before Him, He immediately helps us and gives us peace. And in this peace, He assures us that soon He will provide a solution to all the problems we have and have taken to Him.
Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, shall guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
What a great resource for confronting our problems: Philippians 4:6-7 ! Thanks, Stephen, for this reminder of prayer’s importance, and for contrasting prayer with worry. When I feel like I entering (or enduring) a Job-like period of suffering/deprivation/affliction/disappointment I look to what I think of as a New Testament summary of the Book of Job, 1st Peter 4:19, “Wherefore let them that suffer according to the will of God commit the keeping of their souls to Him in well doing, as unto a faithful Creator.” God is our faithful Creator — He gave us life in the first place, then He fixed our fallenness by giving us redemption through Christ, plus His Holy Spirit used prophets to provide us with His written Word so that we can know the real truth about time and eternity. With those facts in mind our prayer life should improve — starving our worries into the shadows.
Thanks James. Also, when I at first complain to Him and give Him all my worries, He always comes beside me and whispers His word into me. Then, as you said, our worries are starved into shadows. What a great thought!