Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? Matthew 6:25-26
Enemies of prayer I: Worry
Worry is a key enemy of prayer because it is in effect the opposite – it enthrones the negative, anticipates disaster, and is empowered by fear. Faith lays hold of God for His provision and miraculous intervention; worry builds a barrier against God, diverting His power and welcoming in the forces of darkness. We might be horrified to realise what we are really doing when we worry; but the question is, how do we overcome worry? The first and most important act is to repent – we must confess worry and forsake it, as a sin as grievous as any. Repentance requires a change of mind and attitude; and it is in our minds that all battles are fought and victory begins. The second act is to ‘consider the birds’. The birds neither sow nor reap – but this certainly does not mean that we shouldn’t go to work each day! No, the comparison is made so that we might imitate their carefree abandon about the context in which we live. The birds find their food each day; they don’t think about where the next meal is coming from. They live in the consciousness of each moment, not in planning their future. Faith is essentially the art of looking up in complete trust about everything – realising that absolutely nothing can ever come our way that is greater than Jesus. We are not birds, and we do have responsibilities that birds don’t have. But we are to enjoy our daily lives, not fret over what may be around the corner. The result is unhindered freedom to pray, anticipating His provision.
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