Finding God: Turn Worry into Prayer

Who wants to be a worry-wart, anyway?  Here’s how to turn worry into prayer.

 

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Based on excerpts from Fear, Faith, and a Fistful of Chocolate: Wit and Wisdom for Sidestepping Life’s Worries (2013, Barbour Publishing). Link to purchase:

By Debora M. Coty:

I’ve spent decades honing my worry skills into a fine-tuned machine. I can whip pesky irritants into frothy, acetic colon-coaters faster than any juicer on the market.

Not good.

Worry is a type of fear that doesn’t seem like fear at all because it masquerades as taking responsibility. We can fool ourselves into thinking we’re putting on our big girl panties and doing the grown up thing by agonizing over dilemmas. And we just know that if we don’t keep hocking up our agitations like a cow regurgitating her cud, our lives will fall apart.

By worrying, we’re desperately trying to maintain control. We keep our manicured fingernails clutching onto every shred of our lives because underneath it all, we’re afraid to relinquish complete control to the Lord. Things, after all, might not turn out the way we want them to.

But there’s good news. Worry is a learned habit. And since it’s learned, it can be unlearned.

How? We have to train our brains to react to difficulties in a different way. A calmer, healthier way. Here are 4 simple anti-worrywart tools that can help you defroth.

Postpone worry. Set aside fifteen minutes a day as your designated worry time. Then, whenever a niggling fret worms into your brain jot it down in a “worry pad.”  Now you can stop wasting precious living time dwelling on it.

Morph worry into prayer. When you do get to that designated worry time, rather than chewing gristle that won’t ever digest, turn each problem into a prayer. Fretting is not productive. Prayer is. Prayer is the nerve that innervates the muscles in the hand of God.

“Don’t worry about anything. Instead, pray about everything” (Phil 4:6, NLT).

Rest in The Word. Another great worry-buster for restless nights when you’re more uptight than a twisted thong. Reflecting on a favorite scripture is a wonderful way to bring peace and relaxation to your soul. Choose a verse, say it aloud, then roll it through your mind until you can think of nothing else, like Matthew 11:29 (NIV):

“Learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.”

Exercise intentional gratitude. Anxiety is often the result of counting everyone else’s blessings but your own. Gratitude doesn’t come naturally to most of us (why is it so much easier to grouse?) … it’s truly an exercise, requiring no less discipline than pumping iron at the gym. An excellent tool is the Hand Exercise: Don’t allow yourself to entertain one worry before you count off with the fingers of one hand five things for which to be thankful. As you physically recount your blessings, end with an open hand in a gesture of release to Papa God. Before you know it, your perspective will be more positive.

Worry isn’t part of the Jesus download, girlfriend. So let’s unplug our internal juicers and break out the Preparation P (Prayer) to dissolve those worrywarts.

Bio: Debora M. Coty is humorist, popular speaker, and award-winning author of over 150 articles and 13 inspirational books. Visit Deb online at www.DeboraCoty.com, befriend on FB (Debora M. Coty, author), and follow on Twitter @deboracoty.

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