Unloading Stress

Click here for the audio version: Unloading Stress

Reserved-For-Unloading-Parking-Lot-SignThere are days that I feel a bit overwhelmed with my circumstances or the circumstances of those around me that I care about. When this happens I remember the scripture that tells me to be anxious about nothing and pray about everything.(Phil.4:6-7) The challenge is not praying, but rather leaving the stress with Him when I’m done. I am good at telling the Lord all about what is bothering me. I even find myself on a rant at times when I’m praying. (Don’t worry, He can handle it.) The issue is that I often unload my burden and then pack it all back up when I’m done. I would pray and then feel stressed that I still felt stressed! I struggled with this for years. Unloading my cares then reloading them over and over again. Then it hit me. I was missing one of the key elements in the verses, the two familiar words, “with thanksgiving”. It’s not like I hadn’t seen them before or even taught on the concept, but I realized they were not just something to include in my prayers, but actually more about how I prayed. This has changed my whole approach to personal prayer. I began to rephrase my prayers so that each sentence began with the words “thank You”. For example, instead of praying, “God please fill my calendar with opportunities to minister”, I began to pray, “Thank You God that you are in control of my calendar”, “thank You that you are my source of provision” and “thank You that you know our needs and are committed to meeting them as we follow Your guidance.” I started doing this at night as I laid in bed when my brain wouldn’t stop running down the trails of “what if?”, “how are we going to make it?” and “what is the answer?” The result was that I began to be thankful and I could feel the stress leave. These two simple words became the key to leaving the stress with Him and finding the peace that bypasses my understanding settling my heart and guarding my mind. Oh, and I slept better. No small thing to me!

This is not intended to be just another formula for praying and getting what you want from God. It is the simple act of obeying the scriptural admonition to make our requests known with thanksgiving and experiencing the promised result. Gratefulness changes our perspective on our situation. Whatever you are stressing about right now can be expressed to God and released into His capable hands. Stop unloading and reloading when your done. Praying from the place of gratefulness is the secret to leaving our cares with Him and finding peace. “Thank You”. Two simple words with powerful results. You’re welcome.

About Bill Leckie


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