If after praying, our worries are still gripping us and our emotions are still in turmoil, we should try to keep on praying. If our worries are overwhelming us, we might also need to seek help from a counsellor or a doctor, but alongside that, we can pray. When we discipline ourselves to pray persistently and often, we’ll discover the ability to remain calm and quiet. And as we wait before the Lord, we’ll begin to sense His presence and find relief from fear’s grip on our spirit. We might be tempted to think our prayers were ineffective, or we somehow failed because the anxiety returned – perhaps as soon as we said ‘Amen’. But we shouldn’t feel guilty or feel we’ve failed – instead we should take the feelings of worry as a signal that we need more time with God to review all the details of our problem, tell Him how much it upsets us, and maybe even to admit that we’re afraid He won’t handle it quickly enough. When we’re constantly worrying about something after telling God about it, we need to check whether we’ve actually kept hold of it rather than handing it completely over to Him. Here’s a prayer to repeat for those times if we’re not sure what to say: ‘Lord, this is Your problem to fix. You take control. If I’m meant to be involved in the solution, let me know what You want me to do. By leaving it with You, I’ll consider it solved.’ At that point we should leave the problem with God – our responsibility is now to wait for His guidance and to act if He prompts us to. He’ll direct us to the next step we should take.
Rewrite the prayer in today’s reading in your own words, and repeat it whenever you take a worry, problem, or concern to God.
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