Philippians 4:6 (NLT) Never worry about anything; instead, pray about everything; tell God your needs, and thank Him for all He has done.
I don’t know of anything better than the discipline of prayer to deal with worry and anxiety in my life.
Paul says ‘never worry about anything, instead pray about everything.’ He says almost the identical thing in Philippians 4:6. What he is pragmatically telling you is this:
“Stop talking to yourself about all your problems and start talking to God about them.”
If you prayed as much as you worried, you would have a whole lot less to worry about. Worry never works, but prayer always works. I like to illustrate this with my son – he’s 16 years old, and he never worries about the essential things in life like:
- What he’s going to eat, or
- Will he have clothes to wear, or
- Where is he going to live?
Why? Because that’s mum and dad’s problem. He just asks us for these things, he ‘casts the care’ over onto us. In fact, he’s never lost any sleep about these things and probably doesn't even care how we will get or give him all these things! His job is just to “trust us.”
And that’s what God asks of you. He says “Trust Me.”
In Matthew 6:31 Jesus says “So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’” He simply says to ‘trust God’ by seeking Him and His kingdom.
I have learned that prayer is not just the key to dealing with worry, it's the key to having trust. A lack of trust comes from a ‘lot of worry’ and a ‘lack of prayer.’ But when you start praying, trust grows and worry shrinks.
In Luke 18:1-8 Jesus is sharing a parable about a persistent woman. This parable is teaching the importance of prayer and persistence. In verse 1 He says “always pray and never give up.” In other words, continue to pray persistently even when you see no answers or change in whatever you are persevering through. But verse 8 reveals God is also seeking your trust – it says: “will He find faith on the earth?”
In other words, even when the circumstances don’t reflect what you have been praying for, have a faith that will continue to trust in God, no matter what.
Paul says “pray about everything.” One of the worst things you can say is “God, you deal with the big stuff, and I will take care of all the little stuff.”
No, give it all over to God, the big and the small. This is grace – it’s carrying a complete dependency upon God. He doesn't want you to be 50:50 in your relationship or trust – He wants you to be ‘all in’ – 100%. Therefore, every day, pray and allow Him to take control.