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Devotional: October 20, 2021

Don’t fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns.

Philippians 4: 6 The Message

“Don’t worry. Be happy.” So went the chorus to a popular song some years ago. Unfortunately, it is not always so easy to tell yourself to not worry.

In this well-known verse from Paul’s letter to the Philippians, he encourages them to turn their worries into prayers. The object of their worried concern is still on their minds. However, the apostle encourages people to share that concern with God, who is able to do all things.

The problem with worries is that they can begin to control our lives. Our thoughts may become consumed with worry. Then we feel powerless and helpless. Worry tends to magnify the size of our problems. It increases our anxiety, causes harm to our relationships, and destroys our sense of peace.

Prayer empowers us. It channels our concerns in a positive direction. It reminds us that our problems do not need to be solved by us alone. Instead, when we pray, we can completely turn our worries over to the Lord. Once a prayer is uttered, we may begin to feel a sense of peace and strength. While worries can crush us, prayer lifts us up.

What happens when we pray? Paul answers this question in the very next verse, Philippians 4:7…

Before you know it, a sense of God’s wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It’s wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life.

Philippians 4:7 The Message

Prayer

Lord of the heavens and the earth,

I confess that I worry more than I should. Big things, little things, concerns arising from my life and the world of the day: I seem to turn them all into worries! Help me to keep from fretting and stewing. Remind me of your invitation to turn my burdens over to you, including all that is weighing on my mind. Thank you for your willingness to listen, and to lessen the burden of my cares. I pray this prayer in the name of Your son, my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Amen.


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