What – me worry? No way. I wrote a book on prayer. Hmmm. It seems I am not immune to fretting nonetheless.
One day during my prayer time God gave me an image of two sparrows sitting in His hands. Immediately this Scripture came to mind: “Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground outside your Father's care” (Matthew 10:29 NIV).
Matthew 6:26 also tells us that the birds of the air do not sow or reap and yet our heavenly Father feeds them all. “Are you not much more valuable than they?”
What was God trying to tell me?
As I meditated on those verses God’s point became clear. In a gracious, loving way the Lord pointed out that I pray for loved ones and their concerns but I continue to carry those burdens and fret about them throughout the day. He wants us to leave our petitions at the altar and trust that He is working on those very prayers while we go about our day.
Jesus summed it up this way: “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light” (Matthew 11:28-30).
I wasn’t even aware I was doing that. How could His yoke be easy and His burden light if I carried those burdens around for part or most of my day? I was like a fly fisherman. I cast my burdens to the Lord and reeled them right back in day after day. My job is to pray, not fret; to trust, not worry, and to disconnect myself from the burden.
After prayer I headed off to the grocery store with a new lightness. I determined not to think about those prayers again until the next morning. On the way to the store I passed a church marquee which read: “Cast all your cares upon Him.” Nice confirmation!
I pulled into the store parking lot and noticed the license plate holder on the car parked in front of me which read: “Don’t worry. God’s got it covered.”
God always has the last word!
Before you say "Amen" and get up from your prayer time, ask yourself a few simple questions:
- Do I believe God has heard my prayers?
- Am I trusting He can provide the best answers for my family and friends?
- Am I still holding on to the problems or have I completely released the issues to the Lord?
- Have I spent time quietly listening for His truth about the issues that concern me personally?