How to Stop Worrying: Pray, Tell, Thank


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

This past summer I was a local host for the National Bible Bee.

Although it was my second year and I was very familiar with how to run the awards ceremony at the end of the summer, I was not prepared for the unexpected challenges on the big day.

I am the type of person who makes a plan and sticks to it. But life doesn’t always go according to my plans, and that can cause me to worry.

On the morning of the ceremony, I was running slightly late and frantically rushed to get everything set up on time. For lunch, we were having pizzas donated and something tugged on me that I should call to make sure that was still ready to go. I had already forgotten to pick up the cases of water we were having donated, and I was stressed out that something else would go wrong.

Well, of course it did.

The pizza place knew nothing about the pizzas I was supposed to pick up in a little over an hour. As they put me on hold, I groaned and my anxiety started to kick in. By the time I spoke to someone again, I had already convinced myself we wouldn’t have pizza and the whole day was going to be a mess and I had no idea what I was doing.

Yet the pizza problem got worked out and we got more than enough pizzas for the event.

The whole day turned out to be wonderful, and the kids I had the honor of mentoring made me so proud. Even though not everything went according to plan, it turned out exactly as it was supposed to in the end. Exactly as God intended it to.

Sometimes I need to remember this lesson for more than just pizza problems.

Because sometimes…sometimes my goals and dreams and plans for my life don’t always go right. And it’s in those moments that it is so easy for me to worry and become anxious about what I can’t control. Maybe there was a major setback or the loss of a dream. Maybe there was a change of plans or an event cancellation that disrupted my day. Although these things are opportunities to rely on Jesus, I allow them to become opportunities to give into anxiety.

A verse that God has been impressing on my heart over the past year is Philippians 4:6: “Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank Him for all He has done.”

Not only are we encouraged to not worry, but we are given an alternative to worrying! Pray about everything. Even the little things. Instead of worrying myself about the pizza that day, I could’ve prayed and slowed down enough to see God’s answered prayer in working it all out perfectly.

He knows exactly what we need. He has always been faithful, and He has already done so much for us.

Let’s focus our hearts more on His goodness instead of our anxiety.

Don’t worry. Pray.

Reflection

1. Can you remember a specific time in your life where you let worry control your reaction instead of trusting in God?

2. What are some examples of God’s faithfulness to you in the past that you can remind yourself of when you’re worried about your future?

Prayer

Jesus, thank You for all the ways You have been faithful in the past. Thank You for having everything under control. Please, help me today to place my anxiety and worry in Your hands. Help me to trust that You know what is best for me, no matter what is happening around me. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

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