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Prayer Worrying or Prayer Warrior - There IS a difference
PRAYER WORRYING OR PRAYER WARRIOR

One of the things I remember my mum regularly saying as I grew up was: “If you worry, why pray? If you pray, why worry?” I don’t know if this saying was an original of her’s or if she had heard or read it elsewhere, what I do know is, that as a kid, it would sometimes irk me to hear it repeated to me (sorry Mum😉). What I know as an adult is just how very true it is! Her words come to me often when I find myself worrying over something. It acts as a prompt to start me praying, and then, as I allow the Spirit to lead me, it’s a gauge for me to understand the manner and attitude in which I’m praying and just what it is that I am praying about.

None of us is immune to problems, unexpected issues, unpredictable occurrences and uncontrollable situations, and how we respond can differ in quite a substantial way, dependent on a range of contexts, personalities and coping abilities at the time. I daresay there would not be many of us who could claim they have never worried about something.

The teachings of Jesus addressed many situations in life and He addressed the issue of worry quite directly - one of the better known passages being Matthew 6:25-34. “Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?” (v27) He was right! Scientific studies shows that if we live in a chronic state of stress and worry, it harms our health. Jesus knew what He was talking about!

Who do we really trust?

“God is faithful reliable, trustworthy, and therefore ever true to His promise, and He can be depended on...” (1 Cor 1:9a Amp)

When I am worrying in prayer, I tend to go over and over and over in my mind the things that are concerning me. I rehearse the feared outcomes. I try and mentally sort out a solution or options. My focus remains on the thing or person about which I’m worrying. It’s on the power or control it has over me, rather than the Person I’m speaking to and His power. This cycle leads nowhere but to more anxiety. It prevents me from tuning in to the Spirit of God, penning me in with a spirit of fear. My faith then is founded more in fear and doom, than it is in the love, power and presence of my Heavenly Father. We start communing with our fear and anxiety, rather than communing with our Father. This isn’t what God wants for us. It is not freedom or power, and it isn’t life-giving relationship. The worrying thoughts hurry and scatter and blur into one seeming insurmountable blob. Their noise can be deafening and it becomes hard to hear what our Father might be wanting to say. 

Ahh, but how to break out of that cycle?! I have jotted a few thoughts below: 

Psalm 46:10-11:
“Be still and know...” Call a halt! Sometimes even getting out of the room we are in can help dis- rupt the whirlwind. Sometimes I like to get outside and go for a walk. Doing something to physically disrupt the mental cacophony can be helpful. Tune into God in a new location, then, humbly, lay down (throw, gush, sigh) your concerns to Him. “Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that He may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you." (1 Pet 5:6-7 Emphasis mine) What an incredible provision! What a beautiful promise!

“...I am God.” Recognise Who you are speaking to has more power and authority than what you’re concerned about. And His love and care for you is great. You are His; He will hold you. 

“I will be exalted among the nations. I am exalted be exalted in the earth.” He is above everything. This situation has not caught Him by surprise. 1 Peter 5:8 reminds us that we are in a battle. “Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.” I often picture worry like that roaring, devouring lion trying to tear me apart in one way or another, seeking to control my thinking, believing, responding and relat- ing. But when we remember that we are children of the One Who has conquered the devourer and we are in Him, and as we then assert our stand in Him, we find He shall “establish and ground [us] securely, and strengthen, and settle [us].” (1 Pet 5:9-11) So reassuring! 

“The Lord of hosts is with us...” More focussed now and in His presence, we are better positioned to receive what the Prince of Peace has for us - what He wants to say, how He wishes to guide us, with what He wants to grace us. I am now present with Him more than my problem. I see with greater perspective what I’ve blown out of proportion, the things over which I have no control (and thus need to leave in His loving hands), any reparations that I might need to make. I can stand in His presence with the Sword of His Word in my mouth proclaiming truth over lies, faith over fear, authority over anxiety, and receive insight how to more specifically, strategically and effectively pray into these situations with faith. 

I move from worrying in my prayer to being a warrior in prayer. 

A prayer warrior remembers Who he/she is - a child of the High King of Heaven. A prayer warrior stands in the authority that God has given us (Luke 10:19), suited up in spiritual
armour (Eph 6:10-18), and ready to receive the ultimate peace, favour and ability that God has promised us.

This is my challenge, that is my resolve: to grow more as a prayer warrior, and to be less a worrying pray-er. 

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Belinda Tigell is an Australian singer-songwriter, speaker-teacher, worship leader and author. Find her regular blogs on belindatigellministries.com. 
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