Gordon Green, M.Div., M.A. Counseling
Several years ago, a friend of mine was traveling through England and lodged at a B&B. When he entered the “loo,” he was amused to see a framed picture with the words, “Why pray when you can worry?”
I am all too familiar with the pull toward worry. Even though it steals away my joy and peace, I keep on worrying in hope of gaining control of uncontrollable circumstances. Fretful and distracted, I lose sight of God’s love and care for me, and I consequently spiral downward. As Pastor Andy Stanley contends, in these moments “worry borrows from our future.”
With an eye on the future, Jesus commanded his disciples to stop worrying and reminided them that their heavenly Father knows what is best for them and will meet their needs (Matthew 6:25-34). How this happens may not necessarily coincide with our way of thinking. Our part is to “seek first His kingdom and His righteousness” (verse 33). Pastor Stanley adds that “seeking” requires a shift in focus away from ourselves toward the needs of others via prayer (exactly what Christ has and continues to do for us). When we turn toward the needs of others in prayer, an amazing transformation unfolds. Our anxious thoughts are displaced by a renewed trust in God which leads us to a healthy perspective of our own circumstances and a greater understanding of our true needs. And as we pray for ourselves and others, a supernatural peace that transcends all understanding envelops our hearts and minds in Christ Jesus (see Philippians 4:6-7). So why worry when you can pray?