“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.” (Phil. 4: 6–7 The Message)
With my personal life on hold due to my mother’s disease, I didn’t know how to help her. I couldn’t even take care of my own family responsibilities four hundred miles away. Plus, I struggled to manage my other commitments at work and college.
I couldn’t sleep. When I would try to rest, my mind would race endlessly. I’d think about things I hadn’t completed and all that I needed to do. And I would focus on my problems, unable to dismiss my worries.
So I prayed, Lord, I know I need to find rest. Help me go to sleep!
No, I didn’t miraculously fall asleep after that simple prayer. But I discovered a new prayer strategy for REST in Philippians 4: 5 –7 (niv):
- Remember—“The Lord is near.”
- Exalt—“ . . . [I]n every situation, by prayer and petition,with thanksgiving . . .”
- Surrender—“ . . . [P]resent your requests to God.”
- Trust—“And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
How do you find REST from your worries? What do you need REST from today? What hindrances to your REST have you identified? How do you discern a worry from a concern?
What promises from God’s Word have helped you embrace your promised land of REST?
When have you found REST from your worries? Note God’s faithfulness on your timeline—like answered prayers or other times when he intervened. Take a few moments and freewrite about one particular answer to your prayers or needs.