Do Not Worry: Just Pray

12th March

“So don’t worry about these things, saying, ‘What will we eat? What will we drink? What we will wear?’ These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers, BUT YOUR HEAVENLY FATHER ALREADY KNOWS ABOUT YOUR NEEDS. Seek the kingdom of God above all else and live righteously, and He will give you everything you need. ”

Matthew 6:30-33

I was recently telling someone I was anxious about my future plans. They stopped me and encouraged me with these words, ‘Do Not Worry: Just Pray’. It took a couple of seconds and then the reality of what she actually said struck me. When we pray, we immediately take the burden from our own hearts and give it to Jesus. It is like we are supernaturally giving Him the weights that hold us down. When we pray, when we give our worries and anxieties to the One we know will deal with them, it can be so liberating and peaceful. Again this does not negate our responsibilities, but cements our hope and trust in the fact that Jesus is at hand.

Why can we be so confident that He will help us? The answer, because of the phrase Jesus repeated. ‘Your Father knows what you need already.’(Biblical repetition is always an indicator that we need to pay attention to what is being said.) If God already knows what we need, then why worry. He is already working on the situation or circumstance. Jesus, in the preceding verses has already talked about how the Father clothes the lilies of the fields and feeds the birds of the air. If so, then why worry? How much more do we mean to the Father than these things?

Our responsibility is to not worry. It is to seek the kingdom of God. It is to not let our burdens and worries, make us loose sight of Jesus. It is to live righteously by the power of the Holy Spirit working in and through our lives. It to have faith that all things are in God’s hand and that He will give us everything we need. Why worry then?

Give Your Burdens To Jesus

11th March

“Then Jesus said, “Come to Me, all you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon. Let Me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.” ”

Matthew 11:28-30 

So often, our burdens can hinder our walk with Jesus, our intimacy with the Father and our ability to listen to the Holy Spirit. Our burdens can become so burdensome that we even find it hard to even talk to God. It is only when you remove the burdens away from you eyes and heart that you can see and listen clearly.

Jesus encouraged His listeners to not hold onto their burdens, worries and struggles but rather lay them at His feet. He uses the imagery of a yoke to explain what carrying burdens are like. In Jesus’ time, a yoke was a hand carved piece of wood that would go around an oxen to ease the burden of pulling a plough or other heavy apparatus. It also helped the farmer control the direction of the oxen. Without the yoke there could be no submission or guidance.

The reality for us today is that we often try to lead ourselves and by doing so, create a weight that we cannot bear. We try to sort out our problems, plough our “own fields” and carry our own burdens when in truth, that is not what God intended for our lives. This is not to negate our responsibilities; moreover, it is to trust God instead of trying to do everything in our strength.

When we take on Jesus’ yoke, it’s like we are taking off our own burdensome chains and shackles and exchanging it for a new lightweight upgrade. We are no longer slaves in bondage but in childlike submission to a loving Father who wants to take our worries and stresses from us, we are set free. It is only when we stop carrying our own yokes that we will find rest for our souls and know true intimacy with the Father.