Day 3: Pattern of Prayer – Do not be Anxious

25 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? 26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27 Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?

28 “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. 29 Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 30 If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? 31 So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

Matthew 6:25-34

Listen

What is God saying to you through the scriptures today?

Reflect

If you’re like me, when you hear these words to not worry, maybe you find that your worries and anxieties actually increase. Here is what you and I know; we can avoid or ignore worries for a time but without real change, those worries never really go away. In fact, it only gets worse over time. Jesus understood this better than anyone. Jesus isn’t asking us to think our way out of worry as if we wish it away, it’ll somehow go away. Instead, Jesus invites us to redirect our devotion so that the worries and anxieties are right sized in light of who God is. Of all the names of God, one most closely associated with worship is Jehovah Jireh. You can read the story in Genesis 22 where both words “worship” and “Jehovah Jireh” show up in scripture for the very first time. The relationship between worship and a God who provides is something you see reappear again and again in scripture. We worship because of his provision and God loves to provide for those who trust in him in worship.

I think it’s important to remember that when Jesus says not to worry, he isn’t saying don’t care. The worries that take away life instead of adding life are the worries that come about often as a result of our misguided devotion or unhealthy worth we’ve ascribed to something in place of God ultimately. Be it a certain lifestyle, those special relationships, or even our reputation, whatever they may be, we’ve given it such importance in our life that if we lose them, we feel as though we no longer have life. And here is a thing that we often learn the hard way; “nothing apart from God can truly satisfy the deepest craving of our soul.” The truth Jesus offers in our passage isn’t to remove the things we care about or to somehow care less. But instead, to receive the good gifts as gifts from God and not something to replace God with. It is good to remember that all good and perfect gifts come from him, our Jehovah Jireh. The good news is that God isn’t just content with giving us what we need, but he loves to give us what our heart desires…when we seek him first!

Pray

“Father, I acknowledge that everything I need today will come from you. You made the heavens and the earth; You are more than capable of handling any situation I’m facing, so I give it to you completely. (Make sure to talk to God about what is on your mind and heart right now and give it to him). I look to you to help me, sustain me, and give me your peace. Thank you for leading me to a place of rest and replenishment.”

Do

A great way to remember God’s provision for us is to be an active participant to God’s provision for others. Shift the focus from what I need and look to those who are in need around you. Do an act of service. Whether you buy a meal for a stranger or an act of service to your neighbor, be a tangible expression of God’s love and provision for someone else.

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