What would it be like if you kept track of everything that you worried about?
One woman did this and here’s what she found:
- 40% of the things she worried about were things that would never happen.
- 30% of the things she worried about were things that already had happened.
- 12% of the things she worried about were other peoples’ opinions.
- 10% of the things she worried about were baseless health concerns.
- 8% of the things she worried about were legitimate since life does have some real concerns to face.
Life does have some real concerns. That’s what I’m talking about. The 8%. The real concerns. Not what will never happen, what has already happened, what someone else thinks, or the health issues you’re dreaming up.
In our family, we’ve got some 8% right now. Real stuff. Jobs, housing, schooling. Real stuff. I’m sure you do too.
So, what do we do with the 8%?
Replace the worry with prayer. Every time the worry creeps in, use it as a trigger to pray. Prayer is simply talking with God. God knows your needs. But when you talk to him about it, you are opening the way for him to give you his perspective. Talk to God about your 8%.
What 8% worry do you need to replace with prayer? Pray.
Prayer’s not a “one and done.” With the 8% we’re going to need to come back to God again and again and again. The 8% issues are often big deals that don’t get fixed overnight. And, in all honesty, they don’t always get fixed the way we’d like. Every time we start to worry, we need to go to God with it.
Is there an 8% something you have stopped praying about? Petition.
You always have something to be thankful for. Even in the midst of the 8%. I’m not saying to thank him for death, or disease, or disaster. But find the grace in the midst, seek his presence in the midst, and thank him. If the idea of thanking God in the midst of really, really hard stuff is too painful, let me recommend Ann Voskamp’s One Thousand Gifts.
In the midst of today’s 8%, what can you be thankful for? Thank God.
When you stop worrying about the 8% and start praying about the 8%, several things will probably happen:
- You’ll get God’s peace even when it doesn’t make sense.
- You’ll gain God’s perspective on your needs and your wants.
- You’ll set aside your pride and let other people know about your needs.
- You’ll see the body of Christ rise up and partner with God to help you with your needs.
- You’ll shine a picture of God’s love to the world as you show him as the one who faithfully cares for his children.
What 92% do you need to set aside today? What is the 8% that you need to pray about?
Would you share an 8% concern in the comments? And when you add a prayer request, please pray for the person above you. If it’s something so tender, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, and I’ll pray for you. I’m going to start us out.
Monday – Friday we gather here at the Riverside. Just like Lydia and her friends met together, we’re meeting together. From that little gathering, a community was formed. My hope is that as we gather Riverside, we’ll go deeper in our faith and begin to live out community in our world. Join us?