2017-10: Prayer Worrying OR Prayer Warrior?
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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. "Yeah, yeah, Mum!" (sorry Mum😉). 

What I know now, 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 get me praying instead. As I allow the Spirit to lead me, it then is a gauge for me to understand the manner and attitude in which I’m praying (ie whining, worrying, demanding, or surrendering the problem, acknowledging my need, leaning into faith etc). It also helps me assess just what I am praying, and to discern what actually needs to be prayed about.

None of us is immune to problems, unexpected issues, unpredictable occurrences and uncontrollable situations. How we respond to such things can differ in quite a substantial way. Our responses depend on a range of contexts, our particular personalities, as well as our 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 concerning life and one such issue was the issue of worry. He addressed it quite directly in one well-known passage: Matthew 6:25-34.


“Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?” (v27)

The truthful answer? Nope!

Jesus was right! Scientific studies show that if we live in a chronic state of stress and worry, it harms our health. Jesus knew what He was talking about!


Who/what 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 (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 possible available options in how to deal with it, how to cope with it. My focus remains on the thing or person about which I’m worrying. My focus becomes pinned upon the power or control it has over me, rather than the Person I’m speaking to and His power. This cycle leads nowhere except to more anxiety. It prevents me from tuning in to the Spirit of God, imprisoning me with a spirit of fear. My faith then becomes founded more upon fear and doom, than it is in the love, power and presence of my Heavenly Father. And thus, I start communing with my fear and anxiety, rather than communing with my Father. 

This isn’t what God wants for us. This is not freedom or power, and it isn’t the life-giving relationship He created for us. 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 based on the well-known Scripture, Psalm 46:10-11.



1. “Be still and know...”

Call a halt! Sometimes even getting out of the room we are in can help disrupt 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!

2. “...I am God.”

Recognise the level of authority. Remember that Who you are speaking to has more power and authority than whatever it is you’re concerned about. No-one and nothing is bigger and more able than God. No-one and nothing has more authority than He. No-one and nothing else can ultimately win. His love and care for you are great. You are His; He will hold you. 

"The steps of a [good and righteous] man are directed and established by the Lord,

And He delights in his way [and blesses his path].

When he falls, he will not be hurled down,

Because the Lord is the One who holds his hand and sustains him." Psalm 37:23-24 

(NB Read this entire Psalm is a great reassurance for those who worry.)

3. “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 relating. 

When we remember: 

* that we are children of the One Who has conquered the devourer, 

* that we are in Him, and He is in us, 

* that we can 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! 

4. “The Lord of hosts is with us...” 

Becoming present with the Presence. As we embrace those truths expressed above, we become more focused and can start to connect with His presence. As a result, we become better positioned to receive what the Prince of Peace has for us - what He wants to say, how He wishes to guide us, and with what He wants to grace us. 

I am now present with Him more than I am with my problem. I see with greater perspective things I have blown out of proportion, the elements over which I have no control (and thus need to leave in His loving hands), as well as any reparations that I might need to make. I can stand in His presence with the Sword of His Word in my hand, proclaiming His Word with my mouth, declaring truth over lies, faith over fear, authority over anxiety, and receive insight on 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 prayer. 


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