A Prayer for Your Friday. (For Anyone Who’s Had a Hard Week and Fears the Worst)

August 29, 2014 | 33 comments

Friday.

We made it.

It’s been a hard week. And even if you haven’t been scouring the headlines, maybe your own life — under your own two feet — has been a real doozy.

I’ve heard you this week. I’ve heard how your hearts are burdened by what you’re facing, and by what you fear will happen.

There are miles of what-ifs that are the kindling for our fears — and you can find them on your Facebook news feed. Or maybe in your own life. What if’s like:

What if my child gets hurt?

What if this afternoon’s list of layoffs includes my name?

What if hoped-for love never comes?

What if all hell breaks loose?

What if the lump is cancerous?

What if I fail?

What if I can’t make it through tomorrow? And what if tomorrow never comes?

Worry is a criminal,
thief of joy.

John Ortberg once said that “one of the most powerful ways to stop the spiral of worry is simply to disclose my worry to a friend… The simple act of reassurance from another human being [becomes] a tool of the Spirit to cast out fear — because peace and fear are both contagious.”

What worries you today? Can you disclose it to a friend? In the comments, can we pray together?

thorns

 

clouds

Dear Lord,

Help us replace our what-ifs … with what IS.

Help us worship more, and worry less. Worry is the weapon of the enemy. And the weapon against worry is worship.

Help us anticipate the best, Lord. Help us to see our fear as an open invitation to pray, instead of fret.

Help us, Lord, to remember that worry is the work of the deceiver, and redemption is the work of the cross.

You are reconciling all things to Yourself.

Help us, Lord, to refuse to let tomorrow’s worry steal today’s joy. Help us remember that so much of our worry is a fiction of events that will never, ever happen.

And yes, some of our worst worries do come to pass. We are not naive to the pain of tragedy. We’ve seen it in our Facebook feeds, our TV screens, … and in our own lives.

But so many of our worst fears never come to pass. Help us to dwell in our nows. And help us to remember what Your Son said: “Do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself.”

Help us do the hard work of reversing our worry, turning it into worship — stubborn worship that demands to praise You, no matter what befalls us.

Help us, Lord, to remember what the Israelites did: They set up stones. They remembered what You had already done, … and those stones can always remind us where You already ARE — above all things.

I want to remember that whatever lies ahead, You are already there. And You don’t wait for me on the other side of this day, but You are walking all the way there beside me.

You have not abandoned your people.

You have not abandoned me.

Hold us close, dear Father.

Thy Kingdom Come.

Amen.

 

The comment box is open for prayer today.

thornsworship

 

by | August 29, 2014 | 33 comments

33 Comments

  1. Kelly Greer

    Thy will be done. Amen!

    Reply
  2. Laura Risser Moss

    Heard it Tuesday: ‘If you know how to worry, you already know how to pray.’ Thanks for this beautiful perspective-shifting prayer. So much turmoil within my sweet family these past several months…broken relationships, erratic and hurtful behavior, etc. Trying so hard to embrace that God has it all in His wise and perfect control, even when it all feels so out of control.

    Reply
    • dukeslee

      Oh, Laura. That quote. Yes.

      Reply
  3. Mary

    Thank you for this prayer today. I am severely under-employed and have been for some time. I am a college graduate with no place to live. I am in desperate need of a good job, a place to live and means to pay my debts. But God continually assures me it will be ok. I have no idea how it will but I trust Him. Always.

    Reply
    • dukeslee

      May I pray for you Mary?

      Dear Lord, You created Mary, and You love Mary. She needs a job, a home, and financial stability. Give Mary all that she stands in need of physically, and also grant her the strength and peace that she needs spiritually to get through each day. Make provision for Mary this day, in such a way, that she would know it could only be because of Your hand. In Jesus’ name…

      Reply
  4. Mel

    We don’t have the means to pay all of our bills in September. Right now, we’re forced to choose between our cars or our mortgage, and that doesn’t include utilities and gas and food to feed our four kids. It’s a horrible place to be, and the fear is crippling.

    Reply
    • dukeslee

      Oh Mel … May I pray for you?

      Dear Lord,

      You are the Provider and the Sustainer of all life. Grant Mel and her family what they need to get through the coming weeks. Make provisions in unexpected, surprising ways — that would make Mel say, “Ah ha! Only God could have done this!”

      Lord, grant Mel peace. Grant Mel financial stability. Grant Mel your strength.

      In Jesus’ name …

      Reply
      • Mel

        Amen. Thank you so, so much.

        Reply
  5. Lynn D. Morrissey

    I have this irrational fear and sick feeling that if I tell you what I fear it will come true. Pray Jennifer. I fear lots of things. I love the truth you’ve expressed about remembrance. I was just talking to a saleswoman in a Christian bookstore about journaling (one of my passions), and she said that what she loves about journaling is that it helps us to remember God’s faithfulness. Indeed, we build stones of remembrance in writing whenever we pick up our pens and declare what God has done. Thank you for the reminder, Jennifer.
    Love
    Lynn

    Reply
    • dukeslee

      Lynn,

      I have that same irrational fear. No kidding.

      Let’s keep setting up stones, and picking up pens.

      Love to you.

      Reply
      • Lynn D. Morrissey

        To you too. Thanks for making me not feel so vulnerable. So appreciate you.

        Reply
  6. marthaorlando

    Amen, and amen again, Jennifer! May we remember that, in all circumstances, the Lord, our God, is faithful. Blessings!

    Reply
    • dukeslee

      So glad to have you here, friend.

      Reply
  7. Karen Mosteller

    Abba, Father!
    Replace our fear with great faith in Who You are, in what You’ve done in the past, and in Your precious promises for the future! Yes, Lord, we believe. Help Thou our unbelief! Help us to keep asking, seeking, and knocking, Lord. Help us come to KNOW You more! Fill us more and more with the Divine nature of Your Son, our Lord, Jesus. Fill us with the thoughts of Your mind, heart, and Spirit, and help us to ever rest in Thee to the praise, honor, and glory of Your holy name.
    Amen and Amen.

    Reply
  8. momnpopsonthego

    Yes Father, help me to dwell in the now and not tomorrow. The thief of joy and doubting Thomas has had such a way with me this week. Thank you Jennifer for reminding me that my Heavenly Father is walking ALL THE WAY beside me holding my hand and guiding me. Your writings are such a blessing to me Jennifer.

    Reply
    • dukeslee

      Thank you so much for joining us in prayer last week. I’m grateful for your words here in the comment box.

      Reply
  9. Rejoice578

    The Lord had to pick up 5 smooth stones on a beach (like David) in 2008 after a very difficult time in my life–I heard the Lord say I will fight all the battles you will face. Now in this season of my life, as a widow, I look at these stones again and they have become stones of remembrance. I am trusting my Father to provide for me a good and fulfilling job. –please join me in prayer. Blessings:)

    Reply
    • dukeslee

      Joining you in prayer, for a good and fulfilling job. I have prayed for you this morning.

      Reply
  10. Caryn Jenkins Christensen

    We praise You and thank You, Jehovah Jireh, our Provider, for bringing to us ALL that we need for our emotional, financial, spiritual, physical health and stability. We will TRUST in You and not in ourselves. We cast our cares upon You and ask You for peace, in the mighty name of Jesus.

    Reply
  11. Paula Gamble

    I’m encouraged reading through the comments. One of my fears that I’m ashamed to admit is that I won’t make it through my life, that I’m programmed to self-destruct especially when I get in a pit of shame and self-hate. But, that is a lie! Even though I’ve struggled and still do, God has always brought me through every dark pit and I can trust that He will continue to rescue me as many times as I need. My life belongs to God.

    Reply
    • dukeslee

      You are beautiful, Paula. Praying God’s good over you today. xo

      Reply
  12. Constance Ann Morrison

    Lord, please enlarge our faith. Help us weed out the worrying and fretting over what might be and replace it with the bright blossoms of faith and trust. Give us the grace to accept any answer you give to our prayers: yes or no or wait or simply the comforting assurance of your presence. Thank you, Lord, for being Emanuel.

    Reply
    • dukeslee

      Praying in agreement with you, friend.

      Reply
  13. Jody Ohlsen Collins

    Jennifer, I don’t feel so fearful or worried for myself, it’s been a good week personally. But I found when I was praying that I wrote in my journal about the storms of life that threaten the people I love. Charles Spurgeon was talking about the goodness of a hurricane that drives us to our God. ‘What other rock is there?’ he asks. I had written this, “God, help me not to worry about the ‘weather’ (the ‘whether’) but turn my worries into worship instead.”
    Reminder to self, confirmed by you. Thank you, friend.

    Reply
    • dukeslee

      Thank you for this comment. The weather/whether … Yes.

      Reply
  14. Barbie

    These are such beautiful and encouraging words. I am at risk of a temporary disruption in payroll at the church where I work. I’ve been on staff for 10 years AND my husband is unemployed (although gets small side jobs). I fear being homeless, not having food to eat, clothing for my kids. But I know He cares for the birds, so He will take care of me. Please pray a miracle in my favor!

    Reply
    • dukeslee

      Dear Lord, Barbie and I are praying expectantly for you to show up … and show off. Do that Thing You Do, Lord! We come to you with faith in You, a faithful God. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

      Reply
      • Barbie

        Thank you SO much Jennifer. You are a blessing.

        Reply
  15. Nancy Ruegg

    Oh, my. So much wisdom here, and articulately expressed. Thank you, Jennifer for gathering together a virtual arsenal of ammunition against worry. This post is a keeper!

    Reply
    • dukeslee

      Thank you, Nancy.

      Reply

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