Is it just me, or does the world seem to be going mad?
Isis rages in the Middle East.
Refugees stream out of war-torn countries.
A bomb explodes in New York City.
Riots fill the streets of Charlotte.
The racial divide in our nation seems to widening.
My heart breaks for this and so much more. How do I remain a woman of hope in the midst of so many hopeless situations?
I worry for the immediate future, but I worry even more for the future of my children and grandchildren. If America continues hurtling itself toward a great abyss, how will they survive, much less thrive? Anxiety constricts my heart and crowds out any room in my heart for hope.
But in Philippians 4:6a we are instructed to, “be anxious for nothing.” (ESV) Let me repeat that- be anxious for nothing. NOTHING. Zilcho. Nada. Nyet.
Oh sure. I'll just look in the face of a deteriorating world and not be anxious about anything?
But what would happen if I actually obey that command? What would I replace my anxiety with?
The rest of Phil. 4:6 tells me EXACTLY what to do, “…BUT in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.” (Phil. 4:6b, ESV, emphasis mine)
Replacing Worry With Prayer
God in not telling me to inanely hum, "Don't worry. Be happy." Instead He is instructing me to actively replace my anxiety with prayer. There are very good reasons for this. Because while worry can seem a perfectly logical response to troublesome times, replacing it with prayer changes everything.
Worry carries the weight of problems or concerns. Prayer transfers the weight from my weak, burdened heart to the shoulders of the only One Who is strong enough to handle it.
Worry takes the responsibility of the situation. Prayer recognizes the one Actor who can affect the situation.
Worry feels like we are doing something. Prayer actually accomplishes something.
The Lord loves me too much to leave me wallowing. When situations are troublesome, we are commanded to pray in Psalm 50:15, "Call upon Me in the day of trouble; I shall rescue you, and you will honor Me." (NASB)
King David obeyed this command. He wrote, "In the day of my trouble I shall call upon You, for You will answer me. For You are great and do wondrous deeds; You alone are God." (Psalm 86:7, 10, NASB)
So I try to pray, but often in is hard as the worry apparently enjoys living in my heart and does not give up its hold easily. If I am trying to pray, but worry keeps talking and my prayers seem to ascend no higher than my ceiling, then I stop and cry out, "Give ear, O LORD, to my prayer; And give heed to the voice of my supplications! " (Psalm 86:6 NASB), as well as, "Give ear to my words, O LORD, consider my groaning. Heed the sound of my cry for help, my King and my God, for to You I pray." (Psalm 5:1, 2, NASB)
God loves to give ear to my prayers, which humbles my socks off. Why does the God of the Universe listen to a middle-aged Texan with no credentials to speak of? I have no idea. It is just Who my Jehovah is. He is not a God Who makes me work my way up to Him or requires me to perform feats in order to be heard. His character is love. His heart is mercy. And so somehow, illogically in human terms, He hears my prayers. How I love Him for that. That love eventually drowns out the pesky voice of worry.
"I love the LORD, because He hears My voice and my supplications.
Because He has inclined His ear to me, Therefore I shall call upon Him as long as I live." (Psalm 116:1, 2 NASB)
As I pray for all that plagues my anxious heart, faith and hope swell. Worry and trouble fade.
Cry Out 2016!
Today, September 23, 2016, there is a special simulcast of a nationwide prayer event. We have the opportunity, as Christian women, to join our voices and hearts together to pray together.
To find a location in your area, got to the website: CryOut 2016!
There is a map containing churches and homes that have signed up to broadcast the event. Join with other women and cry out to the Lord for all the craziness in our world. Be brave! Walk right into that building where you know no one. They are your sisters in Christ, and joining your voice with theirs is joining forces against the enemy!
Let's just see what a determined group, of prayerful women can do!
Once the event is over, we are not done. No- we have barely even started.
Women of God- let's stand up against the enemy by getting on our knees. Our only hope is a mighty movement of God. The God who tells us to pray for everything is the same one Who promises to hear our every cry. So let us take Him at His Word, obey His commands, and PRAY!