Who knew that last week when I said I was going to write about prayer for all the THoughts in Lent I would find a gem. Well… probably God…
Now, I am a worrier. Well, no. Not really a worrier — I am a “horrible-izer.” Don’t know what that is? Simple: it is someone who when, for example, a loved one doesn’t arrive home when they say, has that person in a ditch or lying comatose in a hospital bed. I’ve been doing this for years. I am really quite skilled at it by now. As long as everyone is where I think they are supposed to be, all is well. The problem is when you have independent people who have every right to be somewhere else!
My horrible-izing takes a lot of mental energy — not to mention creativity. And I am fairly certain God would rather me use my creative energies in other ways.
So, imagine my delight when I read about a suit of armor against horrible-izing in Paul’s letter to the Philippians! Or, perhaps truer to the passage, a coat of peace.
Do not worry about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.Philippians 4:6-7
The way that Paul says this is basically like this:
“Do you have a concern? Are you about to start worrying about it? Fretting about it? Horrible-izing the situation? Take it to God in prayer. Sit down and tell God all about it. And do you know what will happen? This peace of God will guard your heart and your mind from fixating on those bad thoughts!”
A SUIT OF ARMOR!! A way to wane the worry, finish the fret, give the old heave-ho to the horrible-izing!
I love this. Because Paul acknowledges what we all know: we are going to worry. And so, instead of brushing it off, Paul gives us a substitute: prayer. If you are worried, pray — take your concern to God. And then the peace that comes from God will be a shield to your mind and heart.
So, without even looking for it, I have found my Lenten discipline. When confronted with a situation in which I might horrible-ize, I am going to pray. I want that suit of armor, that coat of peace.
Speaking of which: peace this week,
BTW: Thanks to you who sent in your THoughts on prayer — keep them coming!