A Brief Meditation On Worry

1 Peter 5:6-7 Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, 7 casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.

Worry is dangerous because it is connected to self-exaltation. The sinful flesh loves the rush that comes from believing that all depends on you. If you make the wrong decision, if you can’t figure out the problem, if you can’t persuade the person, if you can’t deliver, then all is lost. Because all depends on our abilities, our intelligence, our wisdom, our power, our knowledge, our skills, we worry. Will we be able to save the day?

The apostle Peter encourages us to see the connection between pride and worry and to fight against both. He teaches us to cultivate humility by acknowledging how little is in our control and how dependent we are on God. We humble ourselves by casting our anxieties on God because in doing so we are acknowledging our weakness, our lack, our need. Every time we pray, we are saying, “God, if this is up to me it fails, but if you work, it succeeds.”

So what would it look like in an average day for you to “cast all your anxieties on him” and therefore fight against self-exalting pride and for God-exalting humility? It would include many brief prayers focused not on eloquence but dependence. For example, you might wake up in the morning and pray, “Not my will but thy will be done” in my life today. When you drop off the kids at school, you might pray that God would guard their mind and hearts in Jesus. When you walk into the office, you might pray that God would use you in the lives of your co-workers. Before you go into a meeting, you might pray that God would give you wisdom. After the meeting, you might pray that God would accomplish his will in what was decided. During a tough conversation, you might pray that God would give you patience and the desire to listen to the other person. When you exercise, you might pray that God would strengthen your faith as well as your body. As you prepare to eat, you might pray and thank God for all the ways he has provided for you. When you watch television, you might pray that you would do so to the glory of God. When you drive all over town in order to run kids to their events, you might pray that through their activities they might know God better. As you sit down to visit with your spouse (or a friend or roommate) you might pray that God would use the conversation to encourage him or her. Then before you go to sleep, you might pray that God would grant you peace.

This list isn’t meant to be exhaustive or even show what a full prayer life should look like. It is only meant to practically flesh out how you might “cast all your anxieties on him” in one average day.

Now none of these mostly silent prayers need to be more than 10-20 seconds long. And if they were overheard, they would probably inspire no one. But despite their brevity and lack of eloquence, those prayers are invaluable to your soul because they would fight against worry and wean you from self-reliance and foster God-reliance.

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