Worry grasps for control. It does not trust God to do what we want. So it foolishly tries to usurp the prerogative that belongs only to God.
“And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus” (Phil. 4:7, NKJV).
I typically follow the pattern of B-L-E-S-S in praying for my family. The acronym represents body, labor, emotions, social, and spiritual. I pray for their physical health and safety, their finances, jobs and school work, their inner turmoil, relationships between spouses, parents and children, and our extended family, and spiritual health asking for God’s sovereign, saving, subduing, sanctifying, sustaining grace. All these are fleshed out with details of the moment that I am aware of.
It’s the third area that particularly relates to the subject of today’s blog—emotions. I pray in respect to those disturbers of the peace that cause upheaval and disability to the soul, such as anxiety, bitterness, discontentment, greed, envy, and fear.
Worry is an adept tormentor of the soul and thief of peace. It is particularly insidious in that worry engages in idolatry. In His Sermon on the Mount Jesus tells His hearers, “Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble” (Matt. 6:34). Our Lord helpfully sorts out two categories for us, a today category for which we are given grace and ability and a tomorrow category for which we will be given grace and ability once we get there.
But Christ’s teaching against worry does not begin in verse 34. He tells us in verse 25 not to be anxious about our life and its necessities. We are not like those who do not know God (v. 33). Rather, we know God as our Father and we are to trust Him and seek His kingdom as a matter of priority (v. 33). In fact, that is to be a thrust of our daily prayer (Matt. 6:7-11).