One-Minute Prayers to Unwind a Worried Mind

Day 2 of 3 • This day’s reading

Devotional

When Your Mind Is Wound Up in Worry


When a worry has been on my mind for a long time rather than in God’s care, it inevitably takes up more than its share of mental and emotional real estate, including a stake in my future. No longer is my focus on the present moment or even the past moment when the worrisome situation first appeared on my radar. I’m lost in the thought maze of “What if this happens, what if that happens.” 


In grade school, did you ever play cat’s cradle…a game in which you crisscross string around your hands and then pass the formation along to others? Well, the tangle our worried minds are spinning is about as useful…but not as innocent or fun. 


A long-held worry steals joy, hope, and time while it creates a false validity in your mind. The influence of far-fetched ideas about what might happen is far-reaching enough to distort discernment of what’s true. Your picture of the future will be knotted up in lies. Your view of who you are and what God is doing in your life will be diminished. 


When that worn thread of uncertainty intertwines with our daily thoughts for weeks, it can dictate our actions, reactions, and choices. We might not recognize that’s happening, but chances are that the free-range concerns have run ahead to anticipate outcomes and sound more alarms. We’re not any closer to controlling our futures; we’re merely becoming one of the proverbial chickens. You know, the one squawking about the falling sky or the unfortunate fowl hopping around without a head.


What do you do if you’ve unintentionally replaced God’s hope with hyped-up hypotheticals? 


The answer is to pray and surrender it. All of it. Ask for discernment to know what deceptions you have held onto. For example: Everyone is against me. I’ll never be able to change. That situation or person is not redeemable. God’s love isn’t enough. It’s too late. It’s never too late to gather up a worry and all its fabricated mazes and loose ends and pass them to God’s capable hands.


There is surprising relief when you realize you’ve been waylaid by falsehoods and not truth. The predicted obstacles were mirages. The grace that clears them away is your beyond-understanding, very real, no-strings-attached miracle of faith.


Reflection:


What embedded worry has influenced your life with unknowns rather than certainties? In prayer, surrender to God’s control the worry and the wound-up predictions. 


Prayer:


God, this concern has sent me reeling from lack of control rather than healing in your power. Show me where I gave authority to a deception. Forgive me for investing in unknowns rather than your certain strength. I am so grateful to lean into your promises and receive the miracle of your great peace.