I’m at that time of the semester when I am becoming anxious again, bogged down with the self-perceived weight on my shoulders, the rolling anxiety, and the disproportionate sense of my own importance. I find that, when I finally take the time to reflect, my worries turn out to be more of a perspective issue than a schedule issue.
Perspective is one of the many great values of a daily habit of Scriptural meditation and prayer.
When we read narrative, we are reminded that there is a story greater than ourselves, and that God is powerful to prevail.
When we read wisdom literature, we are given realistic proportion.
When we read the Psalms, we are reminded that we are not the first ones to feel the way that we are feeling.
When we read the Prophets, we are convicted of our idols.
When we read the Gospels and Epistles, we are reminded that it has always been about Christ in the first place, and that he is already established as the reigning kind of our world and the securer of our future.
Likewise, prayer is perspective-giving, especially when we pray the way that Jesus prescribed. When Jesus gave us the Lord’s Prayer, he showed us the kind of things that we should bring to the Father. Notice that the first parts of the prayer are God-focused.
Praying in this order is helpful to us. When your thoughts are engulfed in worrisome matters, pray the Lord’s Prayer. Spend some time hallowing God’s name. Commit to begin only praising him. And when your thoughts wonder back to yourself, commit to deflect them for a bit. Then, pray for his will. Pray for things bigger than yourself: the nations, the church, your church, the Great Commission, his universal cause (Eph. 1:9-10). Then, after these things, we can begin to be at the place where we can pray for ourselves: our daily bread, our sins, for strength.
Jesus says that the Father will give what we ask, but only if we abide in him.