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A Prayer for Anxiety and Care Casting

     Casting all your anxieties on him because he cares for you. 1 Peter 5:7

      Dear heavenly Father, in normal exigencies and the disruptive surprises of life, it’s so comforting to lay claim to the riches of this verse. I always need your constant care, big heart, and broad shoulders.

     By faith, right now, with palms up, I cast my anxieties on you, gracious Father. Carry my burdens for the people I love—dear friends whose stories I so wish I could change. Sometimes I foolishly think if you’d only let me be the 4th member of the Trinity for 15 minutes I could do a lot of good in the lives of a lot of people.

     What arrogance. You haven’t called us to fix anyone, but to love others as Jesus loves us. To cast our cares on you isn’t to wash our hands and disengage; but to remember that you are God and we are not.

     Take the heavy load I feel for fellow pastors who are in the crazy-making turmoil of life in the local church. At times it seems like the only solution would be for you to send revival or send Jesus back—either of which would be welcomed. But at least grant sufficient grace, the gift of perspective and the kiss of hope.

     Receive the burdens I carry for soured marriages and throw-caution-to-the-wind kids; friends living with chronic pain, shrinking resources, and grace allergies.

     I cannot add one minute to my life through worry. In fact, I can take a lot away from my life through trying to carry burdens you alone can carry. Turn my “What if’s?” into “Now that’s”—Now that Jesus has risen and is enthroned, everything has changed.

     You’ve numbered my hairs and my days. You have the hearts of every king in your hand. Nothing catches you off-guard or by surprise. There are no wrinkles in your brow or second-guessing in your courts. You give and you take away, blessed be your name, O, Lord.

     Whenever I am tempted to doubt your burden bearing care, may Jesus’ cross loom large in my gaze. For it was there, Father, you bore the greatest of all my burdens—my sin; and it was there you demonstrated the limitless reach of your care. So very Amen I pray, with palms up, in Jesus’ matchless and merciful name.

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