The Upper Room devotional reflection for Wednesday, October 21, 2020 comes to us from Deb Villines of Missouri
Luke 18:1-7 1 Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up. 2 He said: “In a certain town there was a judge who neither feared God nor cared what people thought. 3 And there was a widow in that town who kept coming to him with the plea, ‘Grant me justice against my adversary.’ 4 “For some time he refused. But finally he said to himself, ‘Even though I don’t fear God or care what people think, 5 yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will see that she gets justice, so that she won’t eventually come and attack me!’ ” 6 And the Lord said, “Listen to what the unjust judge says. 7 And will not God bring about justice for his chosen ones, who cry out to him day and night? Will he keep putting them off?
Matthew 6:27 (NIV) Can any of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?
I used to worry a lot, which produced feelings of fear, sadness, or confusion. So I decided to try to turn each worry into a prayer.
Sometimes a scripture verse came to mind when I prayed. When worried about something in the future, I prayed, “Therefore do not worry about tomorrow … Each day has enough trouble of its own” (Matthew 6:34, NIV). When I worried about a loved one, 1 John 5:14 helped me: “This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to God’s will, God hears us” (NIV). When worried and confused about what to do, I remembered, “If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.”(Jas. 1:5, NIV). Often, praying the scripture verse resulted in peace.
When no verse came to mind, like the woman in today’s reading who repeatedly appealed to the judge, I prayed about the same thing again and again.
Prayer can help keep our worries from resurfacing if we practice, praying when we are worried can become a habit. Then, over time, our worried thoughts and negative feelings may decrease as God’s peace increases.
Prayer Focus: Someone Overwhelmed by Worries
Prayer: Loving God, forgive us when we worry. Help us to trust that you can handle all our fears. Amen.
Thought for the Day: Praying scripture can bring me peace.
— Deb Vellines
When it becomes difficult to articulate our prayers, the scriptures can help us to focus. We can find wisdom and peace in those wonderful passages. For me, the stories and the parables often help me to consider my conversations with God.