I really hate it when I’m trying to pray, and worries sneak in. Before I know it, I’m worrying rather than warring.
I’d rather be a warrior than a worrier, and I want you to be a warrior too. We need each other. We need warring sisters fighting the good fight with us. Thankfully, we aren’t alone, and that is the first truth we must recognize.
Loneliness Feeds Worry
During this time of quarantine many are isolated. We are working from home. We can’t gather at church, and we aren’t supposed to be out shopping. If your health is compromised or you’re older, you really can’t be around people.
Loneliness magnifies our anxious thoughts. I know. As a stay-at-home mom I learned I had to take those lonely thoughts captive. I did that through studying the Bible and worship. When worries threatened my peace worship became vital in my life.
It’s easy to worship when life is full and joy abounds, but it is paramount for me to worship when I’m working through lonely days. . . questioning days. . .worrying days.[bctt tweet=”Worship is paramount during worrying days. ” username=”wordsbyandylee”]
Scripture helps me worship. It becomes my battle cry. So does my Christian radio station, but Scripture, especially the Psalms help me worship God in prayer.
I use Psalms to help me silence worry. I love these words:
Praise the Lord, my soul;
all my inmost being, praise his holy name.
Praise the Lord, my soul,
and forget not all his benefits—
who forgives all your sins
and heals all your diseases,
who redeems your life from the pit
and crowns you with love and compassion,
who satisfies your desires with good things
so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s. Psalm 103: 1-5 NIV
David Gave God His Worries
Can you imagine David camping out under the stars and journaling these words? What great love he had for God despite all the strife he’d experienced in his life. The worship penned by David in what is now Psalm 103 is beautiful. I love our translation, but the words David penned in his native tongue, Hebrew, have richer meaning.
“. . . who redeems your life from the pit (Sabat)and crowns (Atar) you with love (chesed) and compassion (Racham). . . “
- Sabat= trap, grave
- Atar= encircle (for protection)
- Chesed= covenental kindnesss, mercy, acts of loving-kindness
- Racham= womb, place of tender mercy and compassion
Let’s rephrase incorporating the different meanings of these ancient words.
” . . . who redeems your life from the grave and encircles you with kindness and mercy protecting you as a baby in her mother’s womb, a place of tender compassion.” (Andy’s paraphrase).
Read it again.
” . . . who redeems your life from the grave and encircles you with kindness and mercy protecting you as a baby in her mother’s womb, a place of tender compassion.”
That’s our God. Our caring Father of mercy, kindness, and love.
It makes me want to pray! Grab my hand.
“Praise you Father God! We won’t waste away one day in the grave of worry. We are redeemed. Thank you for encircling us with your kindness. We can’t earn your mercy and compassion. You simply give them to us just as a mother cares for her unborn child in her womb, a child she simply loves because the child is hers. In the name of Jesus, our Redeemer. Amen”
This week the Bible reading is filled with verses to help us be warriors rather than worriers.
Philippians 4: 6-7
Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Prompt: Before you go to God with your worries today, write him a thank you note for all that he has done. Mail it to yourself.
Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.
Prompt: The world always expects something in return. Jesus simply wants us to receive the peace He offers us. Does this help you trust Him and receive His peace?
Cast your cares on the Lord and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous be shaken.
Prompt: The righteous- those right with God trust Him. They don’t doubt His goodness or love. Write down your worries in a form of a prayer in your journal. Close it and sit it on a table. Now you’ve cast your cares on Him. He’s got them.
I was young and now I am old, yet I have never seen the righteous forsaken, or their children begging bread.
Prompt: Write down in your journal all the times God has come through for you. Do a word-study on Jehova-Jireh (The God who provides) and incorporate this name of God when you pray. He is faithful.
Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the Lord our God.
Prompt: What do you need to relinquish control of? Write down this prayer, “Jesus, help me trust you. Show me why I can’t trust you.” Then wait on His response. It may come a few days later, but He will show you. When the answer comes there will be no condemnation only freedom.
1 Peter 5:6-8
Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.
Prompt: I once heard a sermon about the toothless roaring lion. He’s all talk. Yet prayer and humility are monumental in fighting his lies. Like the disciples in the Garden of Gethsemane, we must pray not to fall into temptation. I like to get on my knees when I pray. It’s a humbling place to be. Jesus loves you. Sing it!
Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.
Prompt: Are you going through a dark valley? Ask the Lord to help you feel His presence. Get up early one morning and go see a sunrise.
Free Printable of this Reading Plan
There are many ways you can use this reading plan. You can take a screen shot or print this post. But if you want to do more than just read the verses, and you would like some questions or prompts to deepen your time with the Lord, then download the free printable.
I also hope you can join us on Facebook for the Weekly Broadcast of the Bite of Bread on Wednesday night at 7:30 PM ET. Or you can watch later on my YouTube channel. We dig deep into the verses, look at context and related scriptures, and we come away from our time of fellowship encouraged and filled up for the days ahead.
It’s a new week. A new season. And time to transform from worriers to warriors. Don’t let the enemy steal your peace anymore! God is for you. Amen!
PS. If this was encouraging, and you don’t want to miss any Bite of Bread reading plans and posts, subscribe today! You’ll receive a 22-Day Devotion on Psalm 119 called Finding the Beauty Full in God’s Word. The subscription box is in the right sidebar. :)