Many times anxiety is caused by cluttered thinking. So how do you organize your thoughts? You pray for it.
Running around leads to worry
When we chase after the worries of the world we are tempted to dedicate our attention to things that add no value to our lives. The Internet demonstrates this to us in a way unlike never before. How often do we waste time searching for things that don’t enrich our lives? Before the Internet it was television, but the same source is behind it all.
Modern intelligence tries to tell us that Satan does not exist. But we see exaggerated forms of evil every day in the news. Some people even suffer from demonic possession. Where does this come from? In some ways, clear thought depends on us recognizing that the devil exists and does all he can to distract us. In scripture we see how he tempted humans from the beginning. Even Jesus was tempted. Understanding that temptation is largely external helps us to resist confusion.
When you get confused, stop for a moment and say, “The enemy is at work here. He is trying to distract me. He’s tempting me to believe that there is no way to see things clearly.” This does not necessarily mean a demon is lurking around trying to control you. But if something is taking away your peace, what could be the source?
Some say it is natural, but animals don’t suffer from this kind of problem. Have you ever seen a pet dog anxious about if their owner is going to feed them tomorrow? Wild animals have to find or kill their meal everyday – do we see the animal kingdom frozen with worry? Satan prefers to work unnoticed by us. He wants us to think he doesn’t exist, and that our problems are just a part of us.
Nobody’s life is perfect
Everybody has trials and tribulations, but worry only exaggerates them. Our brains go around and around causing us to waste energy. We lose our way and focus on worrying instead of solutions. Even if there is no immediate solution, there is a way to have peace and clarity.
Do you believe?
Prayer is more than just asking for help. In many ways, it is asking for the organization of your thoughts. When you stop to pray, things get put into perspective. First of all, you get a chance to think about what you have to do. You are reminded of important tasks. It might be something like “pay the heating bill,” or something much more important like “call your mom.”
Besides putting day-to-day order in our lives, we also receive a heavenly order. In prayer, we remember who Jesus is and what he did for us. You might understand this with your head, but in prayer it sinks deep into your heart. Your focus shifts away from temptations, and you begin to be nourished by eternal truths such as mercy, forgiveness, and love. Then it’s much easier to see what really matters. The clutter falls away, and you see with a clear eye.
Time spent in prayer even reveals “hidden” secrets. This could be just seeing things for how they really are without our complexities muddying the water. A situation unfolds before you in the light of God’s truth, and suddenly you are not confused anymore.
Practice makes perfect
This kind of thinking does not happen overnight or with just one prayer. You have to work on it. But as Paul explained, this practice gives us a peace that “transcends all understanding.” We rise above the worries and distractions of the world. In Christ’s resurrection we know the tempter has no power over us. We rise again with our triumphant Savior. We are free to think clearly.
Meditate on Paul’s words: “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:6).
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