Instead of Worrying, Start Praying
“In everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God” (Philippians 4:6 NIV).
Worry won’t do you any good. But don’t just eliminate it from your life. God always replaces a negative with a positive. God always has something better for you.
In the case of worry, replace it with prayer.
Right after God reminds us not to worry in Philippians 4:6, he follows it up with this: “In everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God” (Philippians 4:6 NIV).
Don’t panic, Paul says, but pray!
If you stopped worrying, you’d have so much more free time on your hands. It would create a great vacuum, a void in your life. Pray during that time.
If everyone who says they don’t have time to pray would spend their time praying instead of worrying, they’d have a whole lot less to worry about.
Notice the Bible says to pray “In everything.” Some people think God is only interested in you praying about “religious” matters. But that’s just not true. God is interested in everything in your life.
Also note the word petition. It is a specific, detailed request. Get specific with God. Tell him exactly what you want and what you need. Most people pray too vaguely.
In 1 Peter 5:7 the Bible says, “God cares for you, so turn all your worries over to him” (CEV). God wants us to take our problems to him, to pray instead of worrying.
I remember a few years ago reading a study from a life insurance company that found people who attend church once a week live almost 6 years longer than the general public. Why? Perhaps people who attend church every week are more likely to pray than to worry.
No problem is too big for God’s power or too small for God’s concern.
Talk It Over
- How have you seen other people’s prayer lives help them to worry less?
- What is your biggest blocker for being more consistent in prayer?
- Is there anything you’re reluctant to pray about? If so, why?
This devotional © 2018 by Rick Warren. All rights reserved. Used by permission.