Pray More, Worry Less

By Lyndsay Brooks

 

I am a major worrywart. In childhood, this looked like fretting about grades or sports. However, adulthood has brought larger, more complex fears over money, the future, family, etc. I’ve spent countless hours running through worst case scenarios in my mind. 

In many ways, I presumed it was normal, even responsible, to have worry as my constant companion. It certainly kept me out of trouble (especially in my teenage years)! Many of my family members and role models had a similar disposition, seemingly achieving success in all areas. I turned a blind eye to the ways my anxiety was negatively impacting my relationships, health, and overall well-being. 

There’s nothing quite like having a baby to stop you in your tracks. Welcoming our daughter has been the greatest gift in so many ways, one of which being bringing my anxiety to light. Postpartum was a challenging experience and all my fears were amplified. I clearly remember leaving the house alone for the first time and finding myself in tears two blocks down the road. By the time I made my 30 minute round trip, I was in a full anxiety attack convinced something terrible happened while I was away. Worry crept its way into every part of my day and decision making. It became paralyzing. 

However, the Lord does not want us to be captive to our fears. Proof enough, the phrase, “do not be afraid,” is written in the bible 365 times! More than anything, He wants to offer us His peace and love. I have found great fruits in the following scripture passages and encourage you to take them to prayer: 

 

"And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? If then you are not able to do as small a thing as that, why are you anxious about the rest?" Luke 12:25-26

  • What role does worry/anxiety play in your life?
  • Do you have a need to control situations? If so, how can you relinquish this? 
  • Instead of spending hours worrying, what does the Lord wish to offer you instead? 

 

“Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” Matthew 6:34

  • What worries do you have about the future, etc.? How can you place these before the Lord? 
  • How can you more actively stay in the present? 

 

"Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God." Philippians 4:6

  • When you notice anxiety creeping into your mind, what action will you try instead? (i.e. prayer, breathing, talking to a friend, etc.) 
  • How can you enhance your daily prayer life? 
  • In what ways can you form a habit of expressing gratitude for the day’s gifts? 
  • How comfortable are you in letting your requests be made known to God? Begin by asking him for increased faith and trust. 

 

I’d love to say that worry no longer has a hold on my life, however, that simply isn’t the case. Most days, it feels so ingrained in who I am that I fear it’s impossible to live a day without any form of anxiety. (Note that worrying about worrying… sigh). Our good Father continuously offers hope. We believe and trust that He can do all things! 

The age-old adage  “pray more, worry less” is truly the best resolution. This Divine Mercy Sunday offers us a great opportunity! Consider going to confession, receiving communion, praying in front of the blessed sacrament, or reciting the divine mercy chaplet. We may also look upon the image of Divine Mercy and pray the words, “Jesus, I trust in You.” There is no more perfect prayer to cast out fear! 

I pray today you find an opportunity to slow down, see the joy, and be filled with hope. May you always know you are not alone and find comfort amongst community. Most of all, friends, may God offer you His peace.

April 24, 2022 - 3:09pm
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