By Peola Hicks
Live a Stress-free Life Through Prayer
No matter how hard we try, it is impossible to avoid change. Change is all around us. Times of uncertainty can make us feel like we are losing control and our emotions can run the gamut. How well we adapt to change determines our level of stress both psychologically and physically. Prayer is always an appropriate response to stressful situations because we know that God does not change. He is available to us every time we call upon him for direction and comfort.
While we know that God doesn’t change, it is obvious through reading the scripture that he wants to help us overcome our negative responses to change. He wants us to know that because he is the power within us and the force behind us, he can turn our mourning into dancing. Knowing this I have to smile when I read God’s word and sense the calmness and assurance with which he speaks. Philippians 4:6-7 (MSG) is one such verse that rings with the confidence that we need to adapt to change:
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.
Prayer and worry should not coexist. Worry is a natural reaction to changes in your job, relationship, health or family status, as when a child leaves for college or the first day of school. These can be unsettling times. Do you think that God knew about these things when he said, “Don’t fret or worry?” As I am writing this, I can hear God saying, “Yes, I knew you before you were formed in your mother’s womb. I was with you then and I am with you now.”
I am comforted and grateful for God’s word, and I need to hear it on a daily basis. We don’t know what we will face from day to day, so it is important to have a little nudge of hope. My prayer point is a simple reminder that we can rest assured that God is with us each day to lead and guide us through every storm or test. God’s word is a lamp unto our feet and a light to direct our path. Every time you have a thought that causes fear or worry, replace it with a prayer to God, giving him your every concern. That is what he is asking us to do.
Let’s join together for 30 days to learn how to live a stress-free life through prayer and confidence in God. Beginning September 1, OurPrayer is starting a new “30 Days of Prayer: Live a Stress-free Life” program designed to inspire you to trust God more and replace worry with prayer. It is our hope that after 30 days you will develop the habit of enjoying a stress-free life with God’s help.
Are you in need of prayer?
Rev. Dr. Peola C. Hicks manages all prayer, volunteer and partner programs for OurPrayer. OurPrayer is a Christ centered ministry that receives and prays for over 750,000 requests on an annual basis through the web, phone and Facebook. Peola is an ordained minister and has a profile on Facebook as Peola’s Prayer Points.