What the Bible Says About Prayer: Don’t Worry About Anything, Pray about Everything
Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. – Philippians 4:6 (NLT)
Philippians 4:6 is seriously one of my favorite Bible verses of all time. But I stink at it. Which is funny because it’s like me saying cheese burgers are my favorite food but I never eat them. I could practically live off of cheeseburgers. Ask Kim, I texted her from Five Guys last night.
But I have serious room for improvement when it comes to praying instead of worrying.
As I examined my heart I realized my moments of worry stem from two heart problems:
1) Lack of faith. A heart problem that leads its victims to believe that maybe we can’t trust God’s word this time. Maybe this time is different, and we can expect nothing less than the worst case scenario, or the second-to-worst-case-scenario if we’re really lucky.
2) Selfishness. A heart problem that makes its victims dead set on getting their own way. My big selfish concern right now is worrying that I won’t get to live near my family anytime soon. But I want them to move closer to me. See, it’s selfish.
Like most people, I don’t like worrying. So naturally I was addressing it as any healthy, God-loving adult should. Escapism. Yes, I can be prone to popping this placebo when I really need an emergency injection of the Word. Because let’s be real, escapism doesn’t really cure worry. It puts worry on pause, but deep down no amount of escapism shakes that nagging sense that I should be putting everything else on pause and drawing near to God. The same God who told us thousands of years ago in His Word that worry is unhealthy
Worry weighs a person down; an encouraging word cheers a person up. – Proverbs 12:25 (NLT)
And straight up a waste of our time, because He has everything under control.
That is why I tell you not to worry about everyday life-whether you have enough food and drink, or enough clothes to wear… Can all your worries add a single moment to your life? And why worry about your clothing? Look at the lilies of the field and how they grow. They don’t work or make their clothing, yet Solomon in all his glory was not dressed as beautifully as they are. And if God cares so wonderfully for wildflowers that are here today and thrown into the fire tomorrow, he will certainly care for you. Why do you have so little faith? So don’t worry about these things, saying, ‘What will we eat? What will we drink? What will we wear?’ These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers, but your heavenly Father already knows all your needs. Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.- Matthew 6:25,27-33 (NLT)
And in His infinite wisdom God knows we’ll still mess up. We’ll worry. About some serious stuff like illness and financial debt and some petty stuff like what to wear. Maybe we’ll worry because we have moments of doubt about seeing His promises come to pass in our lives or maybe because we’re just being selfish and want our family to move closer to us so we can have pizza and movie nights every Friday. And in His goodness He tells us to cast those worries on Him – draw near to Him, pray and tell Him what’s up, and let Him give us peace.
Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you. – 1 Peter 5:7
Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ. – Philippians 4:6-7 (NLT)
And then – because we’re human and we still might worry that God won’t hear our prayers or won’t respond to us – the Bible reminds us of the power of prayer when we really believe.
Truly I tell you, if anyone says to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and does not doubt in their heart but believes that what they say will happen, it will be done for them. Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours. And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive them, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins. – Mark 11:23-25 (NIV)
BAM! Prayer can move mountains. How’s that for powerful? God hears our prayers and wants to respond favorably to them.
Does all this mean I’ll never worry again? No. But I’m getting better at letting it go every time that I turn to God and His Word instead of avoiding the “hard stuff” in prayer. It’s like Joyce Meyer says, “I may not be where I need to be but I thank God I am not where I used to be.”
Have you ever experienced prayer-paralysis due to worry? What are your go-to verses to remember God’s goodness and the power of prayer?
Psst more good stuff here:
Daily Dose of Scripture: Phillipians 4:6-7 – I read this 2 days after writing this post and all I can say is Michelle hits the nail on the head with what God wants us to know from this verse! And I LOVE her call to action at the end.
(in)courage Sunday Scripture
Harvest daily devotion – Prayer that Pleases Him
original photo of “A Young Woman Praying With Her Hands Together On White Background” by David Castillo Dominici from freedigitalphotos.net