Making Worry Work for You
By Marilynn Chadwick

Do you have a problem with worry? Maybe you find yourself exhausted from worrying about everything from your family to the economy to the condition of the world.

I didn’t have to learn how to worry. It just came naturally as a by-product of an overactive imagination, a curious mind, and a relentless memory. Marriage and a family only brought more responsibility, and therefore more things to worry about. I agree with one friend who defines worry with this acronym:

WORRY:Worry Only RobsRest from You. It’s true. Worry is exhausting.

I’m inspired by Paul’s letter to a group of persecuted Christians. They were always in danger of getting killed – so they had lots to worry about!

“Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus”(Philippians 4:6-7 NLT).

I am struck by the word instead. Paul didn’t just say, stop worrying. He said, instead of worrying, we should pray. To redirect our worry into prayer. What would happen if I used all that furious energy of anxiety to work for me instead of against me?

This concept reminds me of a little trick I learned back in high school when I took karate in between sports seasons. I was taught to use the enemy’s energy against him. A violent attack could be redirected to incapacitate my attacker.

The Bible reminds us that we are in a spiritual battle. One of our enemy’s major goals is to torment us with anxiety.

Turn those worries into prayers, Paul challenges us. Tell God what we need in each turbulent situation and thank him for the ways he has already worked in our lives in the past. If you’ll do this, God’s Word promises, you’ll “experience God’s peace, which is far more wonderful than the human mind can understand. His peace will keep your thoughts and your hearts quiet and at rest as you trust in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:6-7 TLB).

Reminder: When you are tempted to worry, try redirecting all that energy into prayer.

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