Wait to Worry

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God” (Philippians 4:6).

I recall listening to a sermon some years ago titled “Wait to Worry.” For someone who could be described as “wired to worry,” waiting to worry represented a new way of thinking. The basic idea is this: there is always time to worry later. There is no need to worry about things that haven’t happened and may not happen. When life does bring the unexpected, the unplanned, or the unwanted, we should first turn to God in prayer and wait to worry. We need to learn to turn our anxiety over to Him, trust Him, follow Him, and watch what He will do. And when we feel the time to worry has come, we should go to Him again in prayer; there is always time to worry later.

This is such a timely word for us. There is so much uncertainty, so much chaos, so much in the 24-hour news cycle and social media that invites us to worry. There are many folks who find themselves dealing with circumstances they never expected. Many are anxious about careers, plans, and futures that seemed certain until suddenly they weren’t. In the midst of all of this, Paul would remind us to pray about everything and worry about nothing.

While our circumstances and our adversary invite us to worry, God invites us to pray. The invitation is not to offer a quick prayer and carry our worry away with us. The invitation is to be honest and specific with God about those things that are causing us to be anxious or worry, and then to leave those things with Him. The fact is that we aren’t going to tell God anything in prayer that He doesn’t already know; yet He calls us to pray. The prayer Paul describes here is one of surrendering our will to His, of laying down our anxiety and picking up His peace.

Paul presents us with two options.  The choice is yours: worry or pray.

By Jesse Smith

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