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I would like to be able to pray properly. I pray but I still worry.
Thank you for your honest statement that you have made about your struggle to pray and stop worrying. Prayer and worry are linked many times in the Bible. It is important we truly believe that God is in control of all things.
God in His word actually commands us not to worry: do not be anxious about anything. What an amazing God! He commands us not to worry, but God says instead we should pray: but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. It goes on to say that when we pray: the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:6-7)
Jesus also said: "Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat, nor about your body, what you will put on." (Luke 12:22) God has said that he will provide for all of our needs through Christ and the Holy Spirit.
The reason we should not worry is that God knows all our situations as believers, and is in control of them even if we are not. All things work together for good for those who love God and are called according to his purpose (Romans 8:28). We can trust God always; if we knew what would happen tomorrow, we wouldn't have to trust God. God sends us uncertainty for this very reason.
However, there is another possibility. I want you to have certainty about your faith in Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour. Jesus said: "Come to me, all you who labour and are heavy-laden; and I will give you rest" (Matthew 11:28). Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working. (James 5:16)
Therefore can I encourage you to repent and turn from your sin to God again or for the first time? Jesus died to forgive all of your sin. He died on the cross, rising to new life, and sending the Holy Spirit to all who believe in him. The Spirit is a promise of new life and the life to come. If you constantly worry it may be that you have never asked God to forgive you through Christ and received the Holy Spirit.
If you have sincerely prayed this then you need to believe it fully and act upon it.
James also says that we must ask in faith or we may not receive it: But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind. For that person must not suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways. (James 1:6-8)
It also may be that you are praying for the wrong things. Jesus taught us to pray for the will of God to be done, not our own will. God's will is that you do not worry, but turn from your sin and trust him with every area of life. He will provide for you. Jesus said: "which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? If then you are not able to do as small a thing as that, why are you anxious about the rest? Consider the lilies, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass, which is alive in the field today, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, how much more will he clothe you, O you of little faith! And do not seek what you are to eat and what you are to drink, nor be worried. For all the nations of the world seek after these things, and your Father knows that you need them. Instead, seek his kingdom, and these things will be added to you". (Luke 12:25-31)
Jesus taught us to pray like this:
"But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you. And when you pray, do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do, for they think that they will be heard for their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him. Pray then like this: Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you" (Matthew 6:6-14).
Here Jesus teaches us to pray to 1) praise God, 2) ask for forgiveness, 3) ask for our daily food, 4) help to forgive others, 5) not to be tempted and 6) ask for God's will to be done. It also says in the Philippians verse above that we can pray about everything!
Paul also wrote that we can: Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18). Can I encourage you to read the prayers of people in the New Testament? See what they prayed for and copy them.
I want to pray for you what John prayed for the Church: Beloved, I pray that all may go well with you and that you may be in good health, as it goes well with your soul. (3 John 1:2)
Here are some more Bible Verses for your further consideration:
- Philippians 4:6-7
- James 5:16
- Matthew 6:6-14
I hope this answer helps you to find peace with God through Jesus Christ. If you want to know more about what Jesus has done for you please watch the video on the main part of our site: Watch the video
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*All Scripture references are taken From The English Standard Version of the Holy Bible unless stated otherwise
*If anything in this answer affects you directly, then please feel free to call our confidential prayer line in the UK on 0845 4567729, where trained Christian volunteers will take your call and pray both for you and with you. If you are outside of the UK then you may submit your request for prayer on line at www.ucb.co.uk/prayerline
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