You could go on worrying forever. With all the things happening in your life, both good and bad, you could spend hours and hours sitting and worrying. Trust me, I’ve done it. I’m a planner, so I often jump in my car and, while driving to work, think about what I need to do when I leave the office later that day:
I have so much to do, but what’s most important? I guess grocery shopping. Oh, and I have that freelance project that’s a week past due. Why am I so behind? I also don’t think I have any clean socks, so I should probably do laundry today, too. I wish it wasn’t so cold in my house and outside and everywhere, then maybe I wouldn’t need so many pairs of socks. Speaking of, I keep forgetting about that drafty window in the kitchen. It’s probably affecting my energy bill. When’s the last time I looked at the energy bill, anyway? Do I need to hire someone to fix this mysteriously drafty window? How much will that cost?
Does this train wreck of thoughts sound familiar?
Look, I know I’m talking about seemingly trivial things here—groceries, laundry, drafty windows—but these thoughts often lead to something deeper. Could I have done things differently? Is there something more I could be doing? Do I spend enough time with family and friends? Do I have the ability to manage my finances? My health? My work life?
Are you with me on this? Have you ever just been sitting somewhere thinking, when all of the sudden you realize that your heart is beating faster? Your chest feels tighter? The world seems like a horrible place? That’s what can happen when good intentioned, organized daydreaming turns into overwhelming worry. It can happen fast, and sometimes you can’t even remember the initial thought that started your spiral into that anxious place.
When simply thinking ahead (either for the next hour or the next year) turns into unending worry and binding anxiety, remember God: the almighty one who can calm your worry, diffuse your anxiety and give you hope for your future.
When your worry begins to spiral out of control, you can catch it and turn it into a conversation with God. Try these three prayers to get started:
- God, whatever the day brings, help me to focus on you. Guide me today and calm my worries.
Philippians 4:6-7 says: "Don't worry about anything, but in all your prayers ask God for what you need, always asking him with a thankful heart. And God's peace, which is far beyond human understanding, will keep your hearts and minds safe in union with Christ Jesus" (GNTD).
- God, no matter how busy I am this week, remind me that you are the center of everything. In you I find my peace.
Galatians 2:20 says:“…so that it is no longer I who live, but it is Christ who lives in me. This life that I live now, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave his life for me" (GNTD).
- God, I know you’re watching over me. I trust that you have great plans for me. Help me to stay in your Word and in relationship with you, so that you may pour happiness and hope into my heart, replacing any anxiety that’s there now.
Ephesians 3:19-21a says:“May you come to know his love—although it can never be fully known—and so be completely filled with the very nature of God. To him who by means of his power working in us is able to do so much more than we can ever ask for, or even think of: to God be the glory" (GNTD).
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