Why pray when you can worry?

Tim Jackson —  June 29, 2011 — 10 Comments

Do you ever worry? What do you worry about?

The economy? Terrorism? Your health? Your kids? Your grandchildren? Your job? Your grades? Your career? Your future? Your past? Your death?. . . and the list goes on and on and on . . . doesn’t it?

I remember growing up in Sunday School class and singing the little jingle by John W. Peterson, Why Worry When You Can Pray? The lyrics with the cute tune were:

Why worry, when you can pray?
Trust Jesus, He’ll be your stay.
Don’t be a doubting Thomas,
Rest fully on His promise,
Why worry, worry, worry, worry when you can pray?

It’s a cute tune, but I still worry.

And honestly, at times prayer feels pretty lame. I know I’m not suppose to say that out loud, but don’t you feel that too sometimes? Prayer just doesn’t seem like it does much to help. Or . . . maybe it’s that I just don’t believe that God is all that interested in helping me and my situations the way I think He should.

So, how about it? Are you caught in the worry trap? Listen in and gain some insight from Larry Crabb as he shares his thoughts on Why Do We Worry?



Tim Jackson

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Tim Jackson is married to his college sweetheart, Cole. They have 3 adult children. Tim is the producer for the HelpForMyLife.org website, writes Discover Series booklets on a variety of counseling issues and hosts webinars for RBC Ministries. He's also the founder and president of Still Waters Counseling & Equipping Ministries, PC, a local counseling practice serving individuals, couples and families. When not in the office, you will probably find him up a tree with a bow, in a duck blind or fly fishing on one of Michigan's many rivers.

10 responses to Why pray when you can worry?

  1. I needed to hear that. I have been out of work for over 2 years.

  2. A reminder that I need each day too. You’re not alone. Pray that the job search will be productive for you very soon.

  3. Jeanne Beffrey August 2, 2011 at 8:57 am

    My worry is also over my job search (now yr 2)and our dwindling savings. I keep reminding myself that He has a plan and He is with me but it’s so quiet and I feel so alone. Thank you for redirecting my attitude today. It is a daily, sometimes hourly struggle to get my heart back on track. I’ve dealt with death, cancer, and stress before but this is the most difficult battle of my life spiritually and physically.

  4. Dear Jeanne,
    My heart goes out to you. I feel almost out of place even responding, because I haven’t had near the struggles you have had. Nonetheless I feel led to share.

    I have been a born again believer for over 40 years. My twin sister and I got saved when we were teenagers. My wife and I have been married for 32 years. She was saved through the same teen aged ministry my sister and I were saved through in Newark, New Jersey in the late ’60’s early ’70.s. My wife and I settled in Virginia after we were married in 1979 (Tidewater, that is Hampton, Norfolk, Yorktown). In 2003 I early retired from almost 25 years working in Civil Service. My wife and I had just built our “dream” home in 2001 about a month before 9/11. We had a mortgage when I retired, and I took on odd jobs afterwards to help make ends meet. We had saved little, so when I was laid off from a job where by most accounts I was viewed as a valuable asset, it through me into depression, despair, fear, and even doubt at some point of even my faith in God. Nevertheless, I woke up each morning and read my bible and prayed. I also purposed to attend church with other believers at least once week and from time to time fellowshipping with believers in person or with Christians from other local assemblies, and even on the internet from time to time. I often listened to Christian radio Bible Broadcasting Network(BBN) as well. After getting enough unction to place resumes, register on line for jobs, and even attending a job fair, none of which yielded any results, one day I received a call on my cell phone while having breakfast at Cracker Barrel with my pastor. The call was from an employee from
    the place I had been laid off from in my previous job. He knew of my work from before and wanted to know if I still needed a job. The catch was, it was a night shift job, paid more than $10.00/hour less than I was making, and involved among other things, responsibilities like sweeping up trash, “baby sitting” nightshift contractors (sometimes until 3:00 a.m.) and throwing out debris behind contractors who worked during the day. At first I was a little put off because my career had been a more prestgious line of work. It was humbling and difficult at first, but now I can see more clearly God’s working in me and my life in the process. Lest you think the outcome is all work and drudgery, my wife and I were able to scrape enough to go on a 7 day cruise in a couple of weeks in the Carribbean with some Christian friends of ours who we’ve known for in some cases over 40 years. Through it all it has been God’s strength that has kept me going, not mine. We don’t have within ourselves the strength to do anything. It all comes from God whether we realize it or not. When we admit to ourselves and to God, “I can’t do this, but I know You can.”, then God can really move in our lives if we just trust Him. Well, you will be definitely on my prayer list Jeanne Beffrey, and if you don’t mind I would like to add your needs in our church prayer list. My pastor’s wife is a survivor of breast cancer, and definitely depends on prayer.

    A good book I would recommend is The Prodigal God, by Timothy Keller

    The Peace of God be with you.

    William Pleasant

  5. i am struggling with depression, anxiety and worry right now over loss of hearing in one ear, tinnitus and chronic dizziness, plus being told my whole department is being laid off soon. PLEASE pray for me as well!! thank you and God bless you all

  6. I feel inadequate even responding to this. I guess the answer is that we have to pray for each other, even the people that we don’t know. Nina, I will pray for you and all that you are going through. LORD, please be with her. I worry as well, over things that I have no control over. I want to fully trust the LORD for everything and not just anything. Let us pray for each other.

  7. I just bumped onto this page as I was looking for the lyrics of the “why worry when you can pray” song. I was singing this to my wife as we were driving to work. She is worried because he contractor job is coming to an end soon.

    I have been encouraged by reading these posts, and this has been a reminder that without God, we have nothing. I’ll pray for all all of you, in-keeping with Jesus’ instructions to pray for one another. I believe we will be fine.

    God bless you all.

  8. Shockein,

    Thanks for your prays. They are much appreciated as we seek to be faithful as unto the Lord (Col. 3:23,24) in all that we do.

  9. I understand the need for prayer as I just started a job as a new manager. People look at me as if I have it altogether, but I war so much with my self-esteem, which causes me to worry. All I see are these problems around me with limited solutions. I know for a fact that I’m nothing without God, but I still worry. It gets to a point where I’m up all night dreading what will happen throughout the day and I spend extra hours at work keeping up with all that’s going on. It’s taking a toil on me physically and emotionally. I pray so much and ask for God’s presence, as sometimes, I don’t feel it. I know to pray without ceasing, but I constantly wonder when my resolve will come. I’m really scared and would really need a prayer for just an inkling on what to do. I’m starting to question myself and my capabilities based on my worry and fear. I don’t have the experience that other managers have and feel really intimidated. Any prayers you can provide would be very helpful. Thank you.

  10. Jordan,
    Fear and uncertainty go hand in hand with any new experience in life. Whether it’s a new relationship, a job change, a major relocation, or any one of a million different opportunities, all are fraught with a certain level of anxiety as well as excitement. Why? Because we just don’t know the rest of the story. That’s what makes life so interesting and unnerving. We don’t get to control it. We must live it. We don’t get to figure it all out first.

    So, while God hasn’t seen fit to give us control of our world, He has given us Himself. That’s the one constant in our world. God loves us (1 John 3:1). He will never leave us (Heb. 13:5). He always has our backs (Rom. 8:31-39). While I don’t know what the future holds, I do know the One who holds the future in His hands and I can trust Him.

    Pray for courage. That’s what Paul did in Ephesians 6:19-20. Courage isn’t the absence of fear. It’s the resolve to move into your fears and not allow them to control you. That’s when you discover what you have to offer and areas where you can improve and grow. And that’s a good thing.

    I pray that God will give you courage to be His man at work and at home.

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