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To avoid drowning in worry, we can lift our voice to our Heavenly Father

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Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice.
 Let your reasonableness be known to everyone.
The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything,
but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving
let your requests be made known to God.

And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding,
will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. (
Philippians 4:4-7)

 

In 2 Kings 20, Hezekiah had something to worry about – he was very sick. When Isaiah brings him news declaring the illness terminal, Isaiah turns and leaves. Hearing the news, Hezekiah’s first act is to turn and pray to God, ‘reminding’ God of his own faithful walk with the Lord. Isaiah doesn’t even make it out of the courtyard before God tells him to return and tell Hezekiah 15 years will be added to his life. What an example for us! On his deathbed, Hezekiah calls out to God rather than worrying about his pain and suffering. And, he’s blessed for it.

As humans, we often suffer from anxiety or worry. It seems we have a weakness in this area. We worry about things we might consider trivial, like being worried about whether the breakfast we cook will be delicious to the people we made it for, and things not so trivial, like whether our daughter, being out on her first date, is in serious trouble or just having so much fun she’s an hour late.

One of the most amazing aspects of following Christ is prayer. Through prayer, we can communicate directly with God. Even when he already knows something, he’s given us a way to engage with him about what we need, what we want and how we feel about it. To avoid drowning in worry, we can lift our voice to our Heavenly Father, just like Hezekiah. While God already knows the needs of our hearts, our willingness to share them demonstrates a participation in our relationship with God. God provides us the ability to communicate directly, and it is here we can find a reason to rejoice.

The passage for today has prayer at its core – as the means to combat anxiety. Prayer is our way of voicing trust in God. Since we cannot be anxious and trust in God at the same time, we can choose one. We can tell God of our failures, ask forgiveness, share our needs, gush our desires for the future. We can tell him anything and everything. As you read the prayer below, remember God desires to hear from you. Try praying this old Puritan prayer to voice your trust in God!

 

 O God,
May I never be a blot or a blank in life,
cause the way of truth to be evil spoken of,
or make my liberty an occasion to the flesh
May I by love serve others, and please my neighbor
for his good to edification.
May I attend to what is ornamental as well as
essential in religion, pursuing things that are
lovely and of good report.
May I render my profession of the gospel
not only impressive, but amiable and inviting.
May I hold forth the way of Jesus
with my temper as well as my tongue,
with my life as well as my lips.
May I say to all I meet,
I am journeying towards the Lord’s given place,
come with me for your good.
May I be prepared for all the allotments
of this short, changing, uncertain life, with
a useful residence in it,
a comfortable journey through it,
a safe passage out of it.
May I be in character and conduct like
the dew of heaven,
the salt of the earth,
the light of the world,
the fullness of the fountain.
May I never
be ashamed of Jesus or his words,
be deterred from fulfilling a known duty
through fear,
be discouraged from attempting it
through weakness.
May I see all things in a divine light so that they may
inform my judgment
and sanctify my heart.
And by all the disciplines of thy providence,
and all the ordinances of religion,
may I be increasingly prepared for
life’s remaining duties,
the solemnities of a dying hour,
and the joys and services
that lie beyond the grave.

-The Valley of Vision

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By Rich Obrecht

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