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Prayer Doesn't Rhyme With Failure

I had a rough day last week. A Thursday, but if we're being honest, I wasn't feeling very Thankful. Some new-ish responsibilities at work were killing me: I wanted to nail it and instead felt as if I'd spent the entire shift in anxiety overdrive and still managed to be less than flawless in my execution. I was so rattled and discouraged, tears were flowing by the time the car pulled into my driveway. Now, with the same shift looming on the other side of tonight, I'm tempted to tie myself in knots.

Strange, isn't it? How we as children of Christ talk about peace and trust and total safety, yet still worry?

For me, it comes down to prayer and a backwards line of thinking that says: If I have to pray for help, I am not trusting God. Think about that. I was so anxious about that shift, but once I got there, it was a solid six hours of me—my strength, my ability, my stress. I can only recall turning to God once—and y'all, I needed him a lot more than once.

So why is that? Why do I shirk prayer in the times I really need it?

Sometimes it feels like a failure in itself. If I need to get on my knees and beg God for strength, I clearly do not trust Him. I am worrying, and to pray for help would be to acknowledge that, to let worry win. Better to muscle through and say I "trust" Him while really just trying to do it myself and hoping He'll smooth it all out without being asked. Which He can do. But that's not really the kind of communication He's about.

Coming to God with worries is not a loss. Prayer does not rhyme with failure. You are not a flop because worry touches you—you are human, and only by supernatural intervention will you be victorious over it. We are supposed to cast all our cares on Him, and that does not mean shouldering it all ourselves and hoping He'll just swoop in and do His thing because he knows when we need him, right? No. Part of trusting, part of being victorious over worry, is bringing it to Him in prayer. That shows that we know where our victory comes from. It shows that our faith is not in our own strength but in someone else's. That is faith.

So pray. Take that voice in your head that discourages you from praying and put it through a wood chipper. Ask for backup if you're struggling—get others in your life doing it on your behalf. Give your prayer struggle to God in prayer, along with everything else, every worry. When in doubt, when in fear, when in anxiety, don't overthink it. Step one: just pray.

Casting all your cares on Him, for He cares about you. (1 Peter 5:7)

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