“Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things.” (Matthew 6:31-32, NKJV)

Since I was a little girl I’ve been what my mother used to refer to as a “worrywart.” I worried about everything. Somehow I managed to turn it into a virtue — at least, in my own mind. I told myself I cared about what might happen to others, what might happen to me, what might happen to the world, so didn’t that prove I was a caring person?

No, it didn’t. It proved I didn’t trust God or believe the many promises in His Word. That was understandable before I came to know Him personally, but what was my excuse after that? What is my excuse now, 40 years after claiming to make Him my Savior and Lord?

It’s still the same thing, isn’t it? Though I now know Jesus in a close, intimate way, I obviously still have a lot of faith-growing to do. When problems crop up — and they always do — I want to be a person who drops to my knees first, not after I’ve exhausted all other avenues of action. I want to be like the three Hebrew slaves who faced being thrown into the fiery furnace if they didn’t disobey the true God to worship false ones. Their response?

“If that is the case, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and He will deliver us from your hand, O king. But if not, let it be known to you, O king, that we do not serve your gods, nor will we worship the gold image which you have set up.”

Wow. Faced with an agonizing death, those three young men declared their complete confidence that God was able to deliver them from such a fate — but even if He chose not to, they would remain faithful anyway.

That’s the sort of faith I want, don’t you? I want to be a prayer warrior, not a worrywart. And the only way to get there is to regularly choose to replace worry with prayer. Jesus points out in Matthew 6 that our heavenly Father already knows what we need, so what’s the sense of worrying? The only thing we accomplish by worrying is a defeated attitude. Corrie ten Boom said it this way: “Worry does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow; it empties today of its strength.”

Let’s make a daily commitment to pray and not worry, and then rejoice as we rise up in the strength of the Lord. 

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