On the way to our niece and nephew’s new house on Thanksgiving, my husband related a story he heard on the news that morning from a pastor. The suggestion was that all the family gather with pen and paper and write down all their worries and anxieties that keep them up at night down — and then turn them into prayers.
My husband hates his job, but is grateful to have a job. He used this as an example to pray to God to show him a place to work to use his talents without having to compromise his integrity. I thought this was a great idea and wanted to write about this, but then I came across the following article I thought I’d share.-Sheri
“Don’t fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God’s wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down.” (Philippians 4:6–7)
“Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers.” If I could do that perfectly I’d be set. I’d sleep better, at the very least. If you’re anything like me, a concern has kept you awake a time or two during the night.
Last night I couldn’t get comfortable. Same cozy bed as every other night. But strangely, the pillow felt too lumpy. The covers were too hot . . . no, too cold . . . no, too hot. Ice dropping from the refrigerator’s icemaker startled me. Every sigh from my children’s rooms made me wonder if they were okay.
For a couple of hours slumber just didn’t work well. I realized this morning that, although I wasn’t overcome by worry, the nagging search for peace was plenty destructive. I needed Jesus to displace worry at the center of my night, like the verse says. Jesus spoke of trading in our burdens for His rest (Matthew 11:28). I wonder how much more relaxed and able to settle down I’d have felt if I had dedicated a few of those toss-and-turn minutes to prayer and praise that, in turn, would have reshaped my thoughts.
Surely “before [I knew] it, a sense of God’s wholeness, everything coming together for good, [would have] come and [settled me] down.” Oh, the cost of anxiety!
Jesus cares about every detail in our lives, even the quality of our rest. It’s up to us to tap in to His power through prayer and praise.
Faith step: Next time you find yourself awake in the wee hours, toss off your tossing and turning with prayer and praise.