Written by Katie Pezzutto
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:6-7).
We’ve all been challenged, if not a little annoyed, by this verse. So much goes wrong in a day, let alone all of life. We have to worry about some things if we want anything to get done, right?
There is a time for being concerned about things. However, when worry is a prevalent pattern in our lives, we start having problems. It’s common knowledge that constant worry increases stress and a long-term overload of stress causes a variety of health problems. When we keep holding onto our worries, we are not honouring God’s command, our bodies, or our minds.
How do we fix this?
There are some practical steps Scripture leads us towards:
- Avoid getting lost in vague fears. Find clarification by asking yourself, What is, realistically, the worst thing that could happen? In my experience, the worst possible outcome isn’t as frightening as the abstract fears my mind invented.
- Tell God and/or someone you trust what you’ve been worrying about. Venting for a few moments can help you untangle any messy thoughts.
- Write out all your worries. Read through each of them and give them to God individually. Make this a daily practice. Getting what’s on your mind onto paper can also be really useful. You could also try journaling your thoughts without structuring them. Say exactly what you want to say. God often meets me while I’m journaling.
Ultimately, God will meet you in all the places you need Him. Never hesitate to cry out to Him and let Him speak directly to your heart.
If you aren’t sure what to pray for, this is a great start:
God, please help me move from worry to prayer. Instead of choosing anxious thoughts, I want to look up the heavens and talk to you. Please give me the grace and ability to make this transition and to trust you in all my troubles. Give me a heart like David that, despite the storms, always believes your plans are good.