But we prayed to our God and posted a guard day and night to meet this threat (Nehemiah 4:9 NIV).
Friend to Friend
Tossing and turning, I failed to sleep. Counting sheep was far from working. I felt overwhelmed by the news of my dad’s hospital admission and the following details, especially in the dark. Worry and fear threatened to create an avalanche of thoughts with destructive potential.
Thankfully, it’s possible to pivot. Instead of allowing the what-ifs and maybe’s to take over and wreak havoc. I pressed pause and whispered to my heart, “Stop, Rachel. Remember God is in control.”
What a critical split-second decision this was! Pressing pause on the tempting thoughts the enemy throws our way during a crisis or tragedy is essential for two reasons. It creates an interruption in negativity and prepares the way for prayer. I learned this tactic from the first little word in today’s key verse. “But we prayed to our God and posted a guard day and night to meet this threat.”
When Nehemiah began rebuilding the wall of Jerusalem, the opposition was fierce. Enemies started to talk about the Jews and their efforts to re-establish the kingdom God had promised them. They were ridiculed and mocked to the point of shame. They were plotted against. Anger and evil charged against them, and at the height of the issue, entered one small word, “but.” They chose to press pause and interrupt the cycle of worry with the words of prayer.
You see, when prayer is step one of any decision, then step two can be made in confident surrender. Prayer keeps you from attempting to control what you cannot. It prevents you from making decisions too quickly. It keeps you from being negatively influenced by family and friends. Prayer protects you from ungodly societal influences. Nehemiah experienced each of these protective benefits because he paused and prayed. Now that’s a protection program you can’t live without!
The next time worry or fear threatens, no matter the circumstance, let this simple three-step approach undergird your faith. Pause. Pray. Pivot. Don’t allow the enemy’s threats to grow anxious thoughts that prevent prayer. Tell God your needs and rest in His will and provision daily.
My heart for both of us today is that these three little words will transform our story into God’s glory: But she prayed.
Dear God, my mind can hardly fathom the depth of Your love for me. So when my anxious heart feels suffocated with the mounds of worry this life can bring, I only know to come to You. You know every hair on my head. You flung stars into space. You plan every step I take. When my worry mounds and builds, I relinquish my cares into Your hands. The hands that created the hairs on my head. The hands that created the starry night sky. The hands that hold my future. Would You give me the courage to trust You wholly? Would You give me Your peace that calms all fears? For that is when I am rejuvenated from pitiful worrier to prayer warrior.
In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Now It’s Your Turn
Why do you think it is easier to worry than pray? How have you seen God at work when you stopped worrying and started praying?
Share in the comments!
More from the Girlfriends
Rachel’s Beautiful 31 Days of Prayers for the Heart prayer cards make the perfect gift to give to a praying friend or yourself! “These cards are spot on when I can’t find the words.”—Savannah. And you’ll also enjoy Rachel’s free eBook, “Prayers the Calming Collection,” available at rachelwojo.com.
© 2022 by Rachel Wojo. All rights reserved.
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You asked “Why do you think it is easier to worry than pray?” I would say because society has programmed us to do so. We are continually bombarded with negativity and stories of evil. How often do you watch the news or read the newspaper and hear/see stories about people doing good; it’s mostly tragedy, death, and destruction. We gather with friends and we discuss these current events, continually speculating their impact — and the impact is rarely good, at least in our minds’ eye.
And he said, “What comes out of a person is what defiles him. For from within, out of the heart of man, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, coveting, wickedness, deceit, sensuality, envy, slander, pride, foolishness. All these evil things come from within, and they defile a person.” Mark 7:20-23
Praying works! I’ve experienced it time and time again as the words to my Lord calms my soul.Satan works hard to bring fear and worry but when we rebuke him in Jesus’s name, he has no power over us! God is so much bigger!