Umbrella Of Praise


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Have you ever just allowed your mind to worry? I’m sure you’ve been there where your every thought is consumed by all the possibilities. You replay the scenario in your mind over and over again until you can’t think of any good outcomes. Your heart rate goes up. Your stress increases. You get that feeling in the middle of your chest that something’s not right. Your sleep then gets affected and your exhausted because you’re mentally drained. It happens to the best of us, but it doesn’t have to. We don’t have to let worry consume our mind and lives. There’s a better way.

Philippians 4:6-7 says, “Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers…Before you know it, a sense of God’s wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come settle you down. It’s wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life.” Worry takes a lot of energy. It takes a lot of time and effort too. God would rather we spend that time, energy and effort in prayer. That’s what David did when he worried. He spent a lot of time in dark caves hiding from people who wanted to kill him. His mind would wander in the darkness and worry would creep in.

It was in the darkness of those caves in the stress of worry that he wrote so many Psalms. We like to think of him as the giant slayer, but he was also a worrier. Writing the Psalms helped him channel that worry into prayer and praise. When we worry, we take control of the situation that we have no control over. When we pray, we give God control of the situation that He already knows the outcome of. If we can learn to hand that off on prayer, we can displace a lot of worry in our life and use the energy for productive things.

The scripture also said to let petitions and praise shape our worries into prayers. I’ve found that when I’m most stressed, most worried and most consumed with a problem that I need to break away and spend time listening to Praise and Worship music. When I begin to praise God and worship Him, I invite His presence into my situation. I invoke all of Heaven’s authority to come stand by my side and fight on my behalf. I’m then surrounded by God’s peaceful presence because He dwells in the praises of His people. When that peace comes over me, I begin to see the battle is not mine, but His.

Worry doesn’t change my situation, prayer does because it moves the hand of God. Worry leaves me empty and broken, but God’s presence makes me whole. Worry sees every negative outcome in a situation, but praise sees everything working together for my good. The choice is ours. I personally like the outcome of prayer and praise than worry and fret. If you’re caught in that storm of negative thoughts, put up an umbrella of prayer and praise today and let the peace of God that passes all understanding come and rule in your heart and mind. Leave worry behind. Give it to the One who already knows what’s going to happen and is in control. It’s a wonderful feeling when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life.

9 Comments

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9 responses to “Umbrella Of Praise

  1. Alonso Pedroza

    Awesome devotional! I constantly worry about things all day and night. It even impacts my sleep by me losing sleeping hours and waking up in the middle of the night. Now I know to spend more time praying than worrying. Praying brings a calm sensation inside of me and it helps me focus on other things that are in my control (driving, working etc).
    This devotional helped me out a lot!

  2. Jon Stallings

    Great point Chris. Just last night I was reading Psalm 13 and thinking again how David had the ability to speak how he was feeling (the worrier or even the whiner) in the beginning of his Psalms yet bringing it back around in the end by giving praise and confessing the goodness and faithfulness of God even if he did not see it at the moment.

    • Philippians 4:6 in the Message said, “Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers.” That’s exactly what David did. It’s a great model for us as well.

  3. Sue Goodman

    I have had the privilege of knowing the one who writes these devotions for 30 years. It is such a blessing each day to read the thought of the day and to be able to apply it to what is going on in my life or to be able to pass it on to others that need a word of encouragement. Thank you Chris for letting God minister through you daily to uplift and encourage others with His Word. Thank you for your dedication to the orphans in Haiti.

    • Thank you! It has been a privilege to know you and your family for all those years. This ministry is an outpouring of what you and Dan put into my life. It’s one way I can be a Cedar of Lebanon. I think of that prophesy all the time and question whether or not what I’m doing is what a Cedar would do or how it would be used to build God’s house.
      Thank you for reading and for passing these on to others who need them. It’s my prayer each day that God would help me to write the right words so that He can get them into the hands of the right person at the right time.

  4. AMEN! I turn to writing, my blog even, when something’s got me on edge. Writing helps me recall the Word already implanted within me. And like David I learn to encourage myself again with God’s thoughts about my situation. Great post, Chris.

    • Thanks! Writing, praying or venting to God always helps. Our frustrations turn to prayers and the One who hears answers. He’s not afraid of our honesty, frustrations or anger. David was very blunt with God often. I think we can be too.

      • Chris, I absolutely love the concept of frustration and complaint turning into prayers to God. That’s the idea of beseeching and, to some degree, supplication.

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