The most often repeated command in the Bible surprises most people. It is the command “Don’t worry” or its functional equivalents “Don’t fret” or “Don’t be anxious.” That command shows up 365 times in the Bible—one for every day of the year! It is found at least once in every book of the Bible. If you could be completely candid with yourself (and God, of course!), what is your greatest worry? Reflect for a few moments and ask God to show you this.
Now ask how that worry could be given away to Jesus’ Father. How could you “seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness” with this issue? Is there some issue of legitimate need—“daily bread”—that you are tempted to make the center of your life? Choose to replace that need focus by deliberately choosing to turn it over to God. What are you to do with the need that presses in on who you are? Ask if it serves God’s kingdom. If it does, then it is right to keep asking for the need to be met. If you are not sure, keep praying until your praying changes, for this might be God’s way of meeting your legitimate need.
Anytime you are tempted to worry about anything, decide now that you will deliberately ask if this need moves God’s rule forward or takes you away from the Lord. If it moves God’s purposes forward, keep praying for His will to be done. If it distracts, ask the Lord to show you how to drop the issue or change your praying. Let each moment of worry turn into a moment of prayer around the very thing over which you are concerned.
–Taken from Power Praying (Hearing Jesus’ Spirit by Praying Jesus’ Prayer) by David Chotka (Click on the title for more information on this resource).
Father, You are a God of peace and not despair, and yet I spend so much of my time being anxious about things You can easily take care of, or which are not worth being concerned about. Show me my greatest worry, and allow me to bring it to You in prayer, laying it at Your feet as an offering of my brokenness. Teach me how to recognize Your purposes in the midst of my worries, or how to release them into Your capable hands. If I need to change the focus of my prayers, help me to be alert to the moving of Your Spirit in my heart.
Worship God with reverence and awe as a consuming fire blazing with holiness (Heb. 12:28-29). Give thanks for his plan to refine your faith through trials and tests (Jas. 1:2-4). Confess any times this week when you have not seen God’s purpose for you in these trials (Mal. 3:2-4). Commit yourself to submitting to God’s testing in your life. Ask God to strengthen you with his power (Eph. 6:10-11).
Pray for those who are undergoing severe testing, that God may show them his purpose and strengthen them in their weakness (Heb. 12:7-13).
–Prayer Points taken from Patterns for Prayer by Alvin VanderGriend