Everyday, we face situations we cannot control …
We receive a bad report from a doctor.
A job (and it’s desperately needed paycheck) suddenly becomes unstable.
Your child cannot sleep through the night.
When anxiety places its cold hand on our shoulder because of a difficult circumstance and the future seems unsure, we are presented with a choice: Keep on struggling in fear … or choose to pray.
Photo by Bigstockphoto / Copyright: Johan Larson
We often fail to recognize it as a decision at all. It’s easy to forget that we have another choice–a better choice–with the power to impact not only our own life, but also the lives of our children, our family … and even people around the world. I make this mistake all too often.
What to Do When You Fear
If you are feeling any type of anxiety today, recognize that you have a decision to make. Choosing prayer over fear is one of the most important decisions that you will make today, and I want to tell you why.
Choosing Prayer for a Child
Let me tell you about my recent experience with anxiety:
My son Alec is transitioning to high school next month where he will be attending a small school established just a few years ago. The high school program was just beginning to take shape.
Two weeks ago, I received an email from the school notifying parents that three of the schools main administrators have left their positions over the summer, including the person responsible for setting up the high school.
As I read the email, I felt my throat tighten in anxiety, and the questions began:
What could be wrong with the school to cause three administrators to leave?
Who will be in charge of making sure the high school
meets student needs (not to mention the needs of my son with autism)?
What if—notice how fearful thoughts often begin with those two words—
the high school fails and my son has nowhere to go?
My husband and I faced a situation beyond our control. We could not personally provide administrative stability in my son’s school environment. If the situation was not handled quickly, Alec could lose precious educational time while the school copes with the loss.
I admit that it took me a few days—days filled with gut-wrenching anxiety and fear —before I remembered that I had a choice: I could continue in my state of worry, or I could choose to pray for the school to find wonderful staff additions who could continue building the high school program. The best choice: Give the situation to God.
Choosing Prayer for Our World
Every time I read yet another disturbing headline (and I don’t have to tell you that this happens multiple times a day), I typically choose the option that appears to be my only option: I flip the channel or turn off the radio and move on with my day.
After all, I think, sitting in the safety of my car or sofa, what can I do? I’m powerless to make much of a difference anyway … or is there something that I can do??
Scripture tells us that we have another choice:
It’s the same choice that King Hezekiah made when faced with army of 185,000 Assyrians… a wonderful example of a powerful prayer.
When fear strikes, instead of feeling powerless, we can choose to pray.
Listen to my heart on this:
If we truly believe that we have a God who can move mountains, raise the dead, defeat giants, and defeat massive armies… not to mention create the heavens and the earth and everything in it ….
And if we have been granted full access to this all-powerful, all-knowing God by the blood and sacrifice of Christ Jesus, then a choice to pray carries more power than we can comprehend. We are not meant to be powerless, despite Satan’s attempts to suggest otherwise. In fact, what Satan doesn’t want you to know is this:
Quiet prayers lifted from simple homes can impact the world
in ways we cannot begin to imagine.
Choosing Prayer Over Worry:
This is a tough one, right? I get it, because I come from a family of worriers. Have you ever heard these words come out of your mouth, “I’ve been worried sick about you! How could you make me worry like that?”
Oddly, we can often wear worry like a badge.
A rusty, worn-out, ugly badge.
The truth is that God never intended for us to live our lives in worry. He calls us instead to prayer and reminds us of the real power found in the peace that it brings.
It’s like this: the more we pray, the more we draw near to God, and the more we draw near to Him, the more He reveals to us about His love and faithfulness. When we (finally!) understand the depths of that love, worry dissipates like a dark fog in the morning sunshine.
The antidote for the deadly poison of fear is prayer.
Ready for the Biblical promise? Here it is:
Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything; tell God your needs, and don’t forget to thank him for his answers. If you do this, you will experience God’s peace, which is far more wonderful than the human mind can understand. His peace will keep your thoughts and your hearts quiet and at rest as you trust in Christ Jesus.
– Philippians 4:6-7 TLB
What Choosing to Pray Says About You:
When we choose to pray, we are not given an impotent peace, but a peace that holds God’s mighty power. The choice in itself tells a lot about what you believe. A choice to pray says that:
- You truly believe God is in alive, powerful and listening to your call for help.
- You truly believe that God loves you and cares about your concerns. His perfect love casts out fear.
- You truly believe that God honors His scriptural promises and that they are available to you.
- You truly believe that you have access to God’s throne that has been given to you through Christ.
- You truly desire an active relationship with Him.
If we believe that we have a God who does love us, as scripture says, then it would only follow that our actions and our choices be in line with those beliefs.
Prayer Invites God In and Opens Closed Doors
When God give you a calling—such as caring for a child with a special need—He doesn’t expect you to simply grab it and go. Instead, He invites you to an amazing life dependent on Him. He will put you in situations beyond your control and ability to handle, because He desires to walk with you though difficult situations and provide for you in amazing ways. It’s His plan for a victorious journey. In this, He is glorified.
This amazing journey always begins in prayer. The entirety of the journey remains hidden in His hand, rolled out like a map little by little. When we go to God in prayer each day, He reveals the next steps to take. It’s like a beautiful dance with the Father, as we move in prayer from step to step and ultimately to the place that God has prepared for us.
Choose the Simplicity of Conversational Prayers
Prayer doesn’t have to be hard! Think of it as a conversation with someone you love over coffee. Often we try to make prayer harder than it has to be.
When you pray, just be real. Just be YOU.
Still not sure how to pray?
Jesus teaches us about prayer in Matthew 6:5-15.
So, are you ready to pray and give anxiety the heave-ho? Or is there something that is still holding you back? If you have a question about prayer, please post your question in a comment. I don’t have all the answers, but I’ll dive into scripture with you to see if we can find the answer together.
Your sister in Christ,
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