(Read and Follow the Directions)
Why Worry When You Can Pray? Don’t worry. Pray.
I am currently training my dog, Sam. He tends to get very anxious in situations where he’s meeting new dogs or other people. Especially with other dogs, he often escalates the situation in order to exert control. I’m having to teach him that I’m in control, and he can relax and trust me to take care of things. This process requires an almost extreme amount of patience. I have to be able to wait out his anxiety until he learns that when he is calm and relaxed we can do enjoyable things together, and he can be happy. Sometimes this can take a very long time, but he’s learning, and little by little, he yields his trust to me. Each time we do this exercise, he’s a little quicker to yield.
During this training exercise with Sam today, I gained new insight into my relationship with Heavenly Father, and I realized that the more I relax into following God, the happier I am, and the more peaceful my life is. On the surface, it may seem counter-intuitive and passive, but I’m learning that it takes a lot of concentrated focus on the Master.
Paul talks here in Philippians about trusting God, and how even in uncertain situations, if we listen and follow Him, He will hear our prayers and take care of us. I love how Paul continues on, in verses eight and nine, to tell us what we should focus on to replace the worry that can consume our minds and energy.
6 Be careful (anxious, worried) for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. 7 And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. 8 Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. 9 Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you.