How to become a prayer warrior
"Don’t fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God’s wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It’s wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life." Philippians 4:6 MSG
What is at the center of your life?
Reading this verse in the message translation causes me to ask myself this question. When I wake up in the morning, my brain tends to start an internal monologue. Often, my first few thoughts are ones of worry. What if that call today doesn't go as planned? Am I prepared for it? What time is it, am I on schedule or am I already running late? What's on my calendar today?
I have learned that "renewing my mind" is a continual process of interrupting my own thoughts and redirecting them toward God. Here we read that we should shape our worries into prayers.
Practically, this can look many different ways. If we take a deeper look at my first worry mentioned above what if that call today doesn't go as planned? we can see how this worry can be transformed into a prayer.
This thought might run across my mind in the morning and I should interrupt and redirect it to God. That worry turns to a prayer when I say in my spirit God is in control and sovereign over all, which corrects the thought and guides my mind back to a prayerful reflective state where God is the One in control and that worry isn't a worry anymore. My prayer is that God would be in control of the conversation, and that He would have His will and way. Because I know He's sovereign, I know He will.
This is when that sense of wholeness settles in.
The worry is off of my plate and placed in the hands of the One who is able and equipped to hold it.
Sometimes, I think we start to think the way to becoming a powerful prayer warrior is to not worry. Just stop worrying–it seems simple, but as soon as your car breaks down or you get an unwanted phone call or you lose your job–it can feel impossible.
In a world where things often go wrong, how can we possibly just stop worrying?
I honestly don't think that's what God asks of us. I think, He intends to powerfully intervene and transform our worries. This passage makes it clear to me that His invitation to us is to take every worry we have, and transform it into a prayer. The things that shake us up and break us down are our opportunity for God to show up and do transformational work in our lives.
The first step to becoming a prayer warrior isn't to stop worrying. It's to accept God's invitation to transform our worries.
It's to encounter God when thoughts full of worry enter our minds. Instead of giving them a position at the center of our lives, we give them to Christ in prayer.
Becoming a prayer warrior starts with taking action based on worry. Seems funny–but I truly think God uses worry to grab our attention.
Worry tells us to pray. It prompts us to pray and shows us what has our attention (maybe something that doesn't deserve it) and then we bring it to Jesus. He transforms a thought of worry about not being in control, to rest and assurance that He is always in control.
Today, let's trade worry in for prayer.
-What has been worrying you lately?
-What does worry feel like to you? How do you notice and experience worry?
-What usually prompts you to pray? What draws your attention to Jesus?
Notice what causes you to worry this week. Invite God to transform those worries into prayers.
Jesus help us to notice when worry crosses our minds this week. Let us view it as an invitation to go to you with our concerns. Shape our worries into prayers and replace worry with intimacy with you and a sense of your goodness, purpose, and intention in our lives. Thank you for access to you! Be at the center of our lives. Amen.