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Matthew
6:25-34

 
"Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious 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: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? Therefore do not be anxious, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?' For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.
 
"Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble." (ESV)
Stop Worrying and Pray
Cyril and Methodius, Missionaries to the Slavs
11 May 2016
It is all well and good to tell someone who is worrying unnecessarily to "stop stewing about it." We need not merely to stop stewing, but to pray instead. For we have a gracious heavenly Father who listens to our prayers and who alone can bring rescue.
 
The devil would love for us to chase our emotional tails in ever tighter circles of self-centered worry. If we are stewing about our trouble, we are not praying. If we are worrying, we are thinking about how we are getting ourselves out of our own trouble. If we are thinking this way we will not approach God who graciously opens Himself to us so that we can assail Him with prayer.
 
Sometimes God sends us great trouble and leads us into great anguish just for the purpose of getting us to pray and we often resist His shepherding into prayer. When I was a small child I remember committing some childhood mischief. I don't remember any longer what it was that I had done. But I do remember worrying about the consequences of having to tell my father. I was aware that my admission of guilt would provoke his righteous anger, but I also knew that only my father could rescue me from the trouble into which I had fallen. I worried about this far too long. Only when I was driven to address my father could he rescue me from my trouble. Our heavenly Father also wants to hear our petitions of need. We should not be slow in addressing the one who can help us and has promised to do so. Stop worrying and pray.

 

Martin Luther

"Getting ourselves to the point of praying causes us distress and anguish, and this requires the greatest skill. With our own concerns and thoughts we torture ourselves and stew over trying to pull this off our neck and to get rid of it. There is an evil and clever devil riding me and other people and frequently playing these tricks on me in my temptation or anxiety, whether it has to do with spiritual or with secular affairs. He immediately butts in and makes you start stewing over it. In this way he snatches us from our prayer and makes us so dizzy that we do not even think of praying. By the time you begin praying you have already tortured yourself half to death. He is well aware of what prayer achieves and can do. That is why he creates so many obstacles and troubles, to keep you from getting around to it at all.
 
"Hence we ought to learn to take these words to heart. We should develop the habit, whenever we see anguish or need, to fall on our knees immediately and to place the need before God, on the basis of this admonition and promise. Then we would find help and would not have to torture ourselves with our own ideas about looking for help. This is a very precious medicine, one that certainly helps and never fails, if you will only use it."

Martin Luther, Sermon on the Sermon on the Mount, 7.11
 
Prayer
O God, You make the minds of Your faithful to be of one will; therefore grant to Your people that they may love what You command and desire what You promise, that among the manifold changes of this age our hearts may ever be fixed where true joys are to be found; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
 
For the family and friends of Paul Lodholz, whom our Lord took to Himself last evening, that they would grieve as those who have hope in the resurrection of the flesh and the life of the world to come 

For all those who are reluctant to pray, that they may be brought to address their heavenly Father through His gracious invitation to ask, seek, and knock
 
For Christian families who are struggling with animosity and anger, that they might find a way to forgive and forget past sin and live in the new life of baptism every day
 
For all scholars who are finishing the school year, that they might not become weary in their studies
 
For Pastor Daniel Conrad, who is a missionary in Mexico City at San Pedro Lutheran Church, that the Lord Jesus would give success to his labors
Art: RUBENS, Peter Paul  The Resurrection of Christ (1611-12)

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