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Walk Away From Worry

A few years ago, our Bible-study leader challenged us to memorize a chapter of the Bible and recite it to the group. Internally, I began to protest and groan. An entire chapter, in front of everyone? Memorization had never been my thing; I cringed as I imagined long silences while everyone watched me, waiting for the next words.

A few days later, I reluctantly leafed through my Bible, looking for a set of verses to learn by heart. Nothing seemed right until I landed in Philippians 4.

I read this verse in silence, “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God” (v.6). That’s when I knew which chapter to memorize, and how to walk away from my anxiety about the assignment.

God does not want us to agonize over future events, because worry paralyzes our prayer life. The apostle Paul reminds us that instead of fretting, we should ask God for help. When we continually take this approach to anxiety, God’s peace will guard our hearts and minds (v.7).

Someone once said tongue-in-cheek, “Why pray when you can worry?” The point is clear: Worry gets us nowhere, but prayer gets us in touch with the One who can handle all of our concerns.

When you feel the tension mounting,
And across the busy day,
Only gloomy clouds are drifting
As you start to worry—pray! —Anon.
It’s impossible to wring our hands when they are folded before God in prayer.