On Monday, I talked about fighting worry through prayer. Let me make some suggestions for choosing prayer:
Prayer can be fast or slow. When the storms of life threaten or the weather isn’t cooperating with your plans, use an “arrow” prayer! An arrow prayer can be as short as, “Lord, help! I’m worried about this! I’m not going to rehearse what I think could go badly. I’m going to believe you’ll take care of this situation!”
When we later have the opportunity to spend more time with God, which ideally is several times a week (and maybe every day!), we can spend more concentrated energy focusing on whatever is bothering us and trying to steal our peace.
Use your journal. My journal becomes my cure for worry as I pour out my concerns to God and write out my prayers. I also find my old journals a great breeding ground for trust in God as I re-read them and realize that what I was worried about then (and it seemed like the end of the world!) God solved! Often, I think, “You mean I was worried about that? How could that have seemed so important?”
Some people have a hard time using a journal because they believe they need to record their thoughts perfectly. Let me assure you that your journal writing doesn’t have to be perfectly written. You should just express the cries of your heart and soul. It is your tool for getting more in touch with your heart for God; it won’t be submitted for a book!
List all your worries. Turn this list into a prayer list as you write a prayer about each one. And add a Scripture to go along with it!
I remember a season of my life that I felt overwhelmed and worry assailed me. At one point, I decided to write down everything I was worrying about. It seemed like it would take me an hour to list them all–I felt so much pressure. But once I finished five minutes later, there weren’t that many things listed. What a relief. My overwhelmed feelings had made it seem like lots of concerns. As a result, I could commit them to the Lord more easily.
Pray with someone else about your worry. Be careful not to go on and on about the worry, but quickly turn to God to commit it to Him.
Choose a “worry time”—with a twist. Now this one is going to seem like a strange suggestion but it works! Throughout your day, when worries rise up, tell yourself, “I won’t worry about that now, I’ll save it for my ‘worry time.’” Then pick a time to worry but with this twist: write out each thing that you’re worried about and counter it with trust in God, with the truth (corrected thinking) and/or a Bible verse. But only give yourself ten minutes to actually “worry.” Turn on the timer and when the bell goes off, you must stop! Close the session in prayer. And if you’re afraid you’ll go beyond your ten minutes, ask a friend to call you at the end of your time to hold you accountable.
Take action. Yes, some worries don’t have solutions nor are we supposed to respond to them (for instance, if a situation isn’t our responsibility). But often, there issomething we can do and God wants to guide us to do the right thing!
It’s a great reminder to remember that God never worries! If God never worries, then He has plenty of room on His plate for our worries! And He loves us seeking Him because that is what relationship is all about.
What worry of yours would you like to apply one of these points to? I hope you will.