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How to Turn Your Worries into Prayers

If faith can move mountains, it can move some molehills too.

Turn worry into prayer
Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto
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I had to laugh when I heard author Sarah Bessey talking about her book The Rhythm of Prayer. She remembered a pastor once telling her that the part of you that worries is the part of you that prays. “And since I can pretty much worry without ceasing,” she said wryly, “I can definitely pray without ceasing too.”

Don’t we all know what’s that like, worrying without ceasing? I can easily plunge down the worry rabbit hole, turning molehills into mountains. But Jesus also told us that by faith we could move mountains. 

Why not use our prayers to move those molehills too? Here’s how:

Notice the worries. When I pray in the morning, the worries always make their appearance. Mundane things like, “What do we need to put on the grocery list?” “Did I remember to write that check—and how is our balance doing?” Not to mention all the people I need to email, call or text.

My rule to self: Don’t get up and scribble a note or take out your phone to send a text. Not now. Not during prayer time. This is my moment to give worries to God. The to-do list will be there when I get off the sofa. The precious one-on-One time will not.

If you don’t acknowledge the worries, they can get bigger, feeding on silent fears. Using prayer as a moment to hear them helps me shrink them into manageable size. Back into molehills.

See your powers of worry as a gift. Worry is a peculiarly human quality. It gets us out of bed in the morning. We cross off things on to-do lists. Worry—used healthily and sparingly—helps us prepare for the future. We can’t know what tomorrow will bring, but we can get ready.

“Can any of you by worrying add a single hour to your span of life?” Jesus asked (Matthew 6:27). Nope. But we can use that power into making us who He would want us to be.

Make thanksgiving an antidote. Gratitude can put your mind in a better place. The apostle Paul knew exactly what he was saying when he wrote, “give thanks in all circumstances” (1Thessalonians 5:17-18). All circumstances. 

I’ve got a little notebook where I try to write down something that I’m grateful for every day. At least one thing. I forget from time to time, but then I scribble down lots of things. Somehow writing it down—in my indecipherable handwriting—makes it more tangible to the soul.

“Consider the lilies of the field…” Jesus reminds us to look to the creation for models on how to deal with worry. Those flowers “neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not clothed like one of them” (Matthew 6:28-29).

It’s not that they don’t need the Creator, turning to the sky for the vital resources of sun and rain, rooting themselves in the soil. No more do we bloom without turning to the Creator. We can look up and smile. Like those lilies.

And that, I think, can be the blessing of worry. It gives us a chance to turn to God. It is impossible for me to imagine living without worry. Just as it is impossible to think of living without prayer.

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