A while back I listened to a sermon on worry and the pastor said some things that I found so helpful and thought-provoking that I thought I would share them with you today.
The context of the sermon was about what we do when we are worried. He talked about how our usual method of operation is to “deconstruct the threat.”
“Deconstructing the threat” looks like what we do when we are in a big jam and we are trying to reason and figure a way out of it. We look at the problem from every conceivable angle and attempt to overcome it with our logic and abilities. In the process, we worry. We ruminate and roll the problem over and over in our minds for hours and days on end. I know that I have done this. I have tried to solve problems bigger than myself through human wisdom and human effort. The Bible says this is sin, plain and simple.
“So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. Matthew 6:34 (NASB)
This is an imperative, a command from the Lord Jesus Christ. Do not worry.
When I have something to worry about, my initial response is to pray about it. I am sure that it is yours too! However, is your praying really worrying? Is your praying a “legitimate” or disguised form of worry? Is your Bible your “worry stone?”
For a long time, I was not sure I knew the difference between praying about something and reciting my worries and fears repeatedly. I was also not sure that it was alright to pray about something over and over.
The wonder of prayer is that it is communication with God. What makes it wondrous is that God listens! I can talk all day long but if no one is listening I am nothing more than a chatterbox. However, the God of the Universe bends His ear to my lips and my words go to His heart.
With that in mind, I pray- constantly. I pray when I wake, I pray on my drive, I pray as I walk into the building, I pray as I go about my daily tasks and job. I pray to unburden my soul to the only One who can do anything about my troubles and concerns.
I used to wonder if it was ok to pray about the same thing over and over and wondered if my repetitive prayers indicated a lack of faith. I reasoned that it was enough to tell God once what concerned me or I needed and to do more than that was sort of like nagging God or acting as though He didn’t hear me.
O Lord, the God of my salvation, I have cried out by day and in the night before You.
Psalm 88:1 (NASB)
As for me, I shall call upon God, And the LORD will save me. Evening and morning and at noon, I will complain and murmur, And He will hear my voice. Psalm 55:16 -17 (NASB)
So much for my human reasoning…The Psalmists write repeatedly verses like those above, how they approach God morning, evening, and noon with their needs and woes. These were their customary prayer times, so it makes sense that this is what they would write. We have no specific times to pray although many Christians begin their day with devotions. The point is that the Psalmists write of crying out, complaining, and murmuring to God about their trials- over and over again!
Part two coming next week!