Turning Worries into Prayers

Young woman praying

Pray without ceasing.—1 THESSALONIANS 5:17 [KJV]

“Why won’t she pick up?” All morning I had been calling Mom in the rehab center. Apparently, she was in her room but kept forgetting how to answer the phone. The frustration at being unable to visit her due to the pandemic was mounting. Every day, it would take me all day just to arrange a brief “conversation,” only to hear long silences, weeping and her confused speech.

As I waited to reach my mother, I imagined her sitting in her room alone, scared, blind, confused. Was she cold? Did she need help? Did she eat? I ruminated over all things possible as well as improbable. My imagination and worries got the better of me. I fidgeted at my desk, then paced the floors. My stomach fluttered and my heart pounded.

But even as I stewed, an image of praying came to mind. I had read that if one can worry, one can pray. If I was going to spend my mental energy on worrying, why not do something productive, both for Mom and myself? I sat down and bowed my head.

“Please keep her safe and give her peace,” I prayed. Every time a worry would pop in my head, I offered that worry up to God: “Please provide someone to help her eat tonight.”

While I still had troubled thoughts, I noticed I wasn’t as anxious and fidgety as before. My continual worries became a continual prayer.

Today's Prayer:

Lord, thank you for reframing my thoughts by giving them to you.

Adapted from Strength & Grace: Daily Devotions for Caregivers, a new publication from Guideposts