You may have heard a pastor say something like this in prayer during a service: God, help us to set aside the cares and concerns of this world and worship you. They say this to help us refocus our hearts and our minds as we come to worship God corporately. And they are kind to do so; we’re not only like sheep, but we’re often distracted, worrisome sheep.
I don’t mean to quibble, but this thought occurred to me the last time I heard this sort of thing in a prayer. We do well to set aside the cares and concerns of our daily lives when we come each week to worship God. But we do better to bring those cares and concerns in submission to God in worship.
Paul tells us what this is like: “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:6-7).
The antidote to anxiousness is prayer, and the cured heart and mind will be guarded by God’s peace. That sounds like a cure I need each week—and each day.
So the next time you find your heart beating with worry or your mind racing with anxiety, don’t simply push them aside to focus on God. Bring them to God as a prayer and a request, all with a spirit of thanksgiving that He hears and heals. And He will give us peace!
Question: Do you find your mind racing and your heart worrying when you come to church—or each day?