Monday, July 6, 2015

Praying... or worrying?...

How do you know when you are praying... or worrying?

So many times I find that what I am worrying about becomes the prayer that I voice to God. I explain to him how things are, and then ask for his help.

Those worrying thoughts are usually me, analyzing and problem solving.

I found this little note my dad wrote - it was in one of his Bibles. Dad jotted down everything, especially when it was important to him.

"Worrying is not praying.
It is an urgent call to pray!
Worrying centers on the problem,
praying focuses on the solution."

When my heart and my prayers are focused on Jesus, the answers are in his hands, the safest place to be.
When I am worrying... I am trying to 'fix it'. I have done that more times than I have trusted God right at the beginning of a problem. Yes, he does expect us to use the brains he gave us, but the first step should be asking him for the solution, and then trusting him as I go, praying for him to guide the circumstances. I do that, but too often it is after I've worked it all around and hassled in my mind and heart as to what I should do.

Like someone said... 'when all else fails, pray'.

I do find that my thoughts and my prayers are all kind of mixed up together, and I often am praying as I am thinking things through. I am not on my knees, I am running around doing my day. But even those prayers can be worry unless I am trusting God. Praying can sometimes sound like the anxious thoughts that swirl. 

Focusing on the solution means I am focused on trusting God, even before the solution comes.
My mind and heart are stilled when I do that, with or without the answers.

There is always a sense of doing the right thing when I let go of what worries me, and trust that God will handle it. Sometimes the process of getting there is much longer than it  should be.

1 Peter 5:7 says "1 Peter 5:7 says "Casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you." There are so many scriptures that teach this, but the big message for me in this verse is that little word ALL. Like my dad said, after he had studied that word at length... all he could find all to mean was all.

It's worth repeating...

"Worrying is not praying.
It is an urgent call to pray!
Worrying centers on the problem,
praying focuses on the solution."


Vee said...

Good counsel. I am learning to recognize the pickle prayers...those prayed when in a pickle...and to stop the fretting. I might even stop praying and start over. I am sure that The Lord recognizes that we are but dust and are prone to worry. That said, I would prefer to honor Him with faith that He will work it all out.

Saleslady371 said...

I got myself in a real pickle in earlier days because I worried so much you could see a crease in my forehead. I also saw the lack of trust in praying solutions or focusing on the problem. That must have made it so hard for God to bless me and I'm sure I withheld my own blessings. Looking back, His answers did not look like my prayer requests!

You're a wise cookie, girlfriend. This is great advice.

Thanks for prayers for Angie. I heard she made it through the surgery yesterday and her family keeps saying "how wonderful God is!" Now the healing.


Diana Ferguson said...

I love your dad's notes! said...

Okay you nailed me again, I am caught! Good word, so needed it this morning. Thanks! Hugs and I hope you are surviving over there. What a strange season of weather. We still have streets closed from the water being over them and fields that once had cows look like lakes.

Debbie Petras said...

So true! I remember reading a question that said, "when you have a problem where do you go first? Do you call a friend or do you run to Jesus?" I want to run to Jesus first.

Love you,

Sharon said...

I stand convicted.

I worry...a lot. In fact, I'm terribly worried right now about a situation, and it's got me all panicky. Oh Lord, how I need Your help!

Thank you for these wise words - they are timely. And they have encouraged me to once again remember that prayer is a mighty antidote to the fear arrows that the enemy slings at me.

God's solution - "Don't worry about anything. Instead, pray about everything."

Yes, I will do that.


Soul's Panting said...

Thank you for your kind and wise words - I guess that's why Paul meant in I Thessalonians when he said: "Be cheerful no matter what; pray all the time; thank God no matter what happens. This is the way God wants you who belong to Christ Jesus to live." (I Thess 5:16-18 The MSG).

I try to live like that :) -RS

Kathleen said...

There have been several things in recent months that have stolen space in my heart. I'm not much of a worrier, but I also know the Lord has challenged me to consider the difference between a pat prayer and praying through. I'm so good at the one and not so skilled at the other.

Good thoughts, sweet friend.