Worry can ruin your day. It can ruin your week. It can ruin your month. Actually, worry can ruin your life.
The root word of “worry” means “to choke” or “to strangle.” When my grandkids were much younger, they liked to come up and choke me from behind. They thought it was cute and fun, and it was okay because they were small. They weren’t hurting me. Worry, however, does hurt us. It chokes us out. That’s why we need to stop worrying and start praying.
I realize that we all have things in life to worry about, but I’m reminded of the words of the apostle Paul: “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).
When you worry about the future, you cripple yourself in the present. Worry does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow; it empties today of its strength. Even when things are going well, we start worrying that something is going to go wrong, don’t we? Jesus said, “So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today” (Matthew 6:34 NLT).
Turning worry into prayer is a conditioned reflex. It’s something that we learn how to do. In contrast, a natural reflex is something that we automatically do. For example, if you accidentally touch something hot, you immediately pull your hand back. That’s a natural reflex. No one has to teach you to do that.
We need to develop the conditioned reflex of turning worry into prayer. When worry creeps in, when panic hits, stop and pray right away. Remember, God is in control of your life. As Christians, we don’t believe in fate; we believe in faith.