Two weeks ago, I awoke early in the morning, anxious over several problems which I had little to no control over. I tossed and turned, untucking the covers as I went, hoping to find a position comfortable enough to sleep in. I may have turned a light on to clean the cobwebs in my mind, or open my laptop to distract me from my concerns. However, after I turned the light off and closed my laptop, I realized that the answer to my problem was right under my nose.
Windows users like me know that tossing documents, music or entire programs in the recycle bin and emptying it is a good way to clean their computers of un-needed junk. But about a year ago, Dad introduced me to a great little program called CCleaner, otherwise known as Crap Cleaner. The cycle may last a little while, but after the program does its work, the crap on your computer should be gone. But how do you do that in your life?
While I lay there, still wide awake, I decided to forget about sleeping and instead start thinking about God. But because I couldn’t forget about my frustrations, I began to wonder, “God, what can you do with them?” I slowly started to label my anxieties that were keeping me awake and giving them to God. One after another:
3) Relationships I hoped to begin
4) Relationships I hoped to change
I labelled people, places, conversations and confessions by name until I felt the list was long enough for one night. Then, the words to an old Sunday school song “Cast your burdens unto Jesus for He cares for you,” which is also found in 1 Peter 5:7, floated into my mind. Instead of staying awake, dwelling on those issues, which were now neatly listed, I decided to do just that. Slowly, I opened my clenched fists and said “God, you may give these concerns back to me in the morning, but would you please take them right now so I can sleep.” I then closed my eyes and the rest is history.
The impact of that prayer was immediate and lasting. Not only was my night’s sleep better than any sleeping pill, with no dreams and no concerns, the next day was even better because the concerns I had listed did not come back. As the day, the week, and the month progressed, other concerns took their place and it soon became time to do it all over again.
At around this time of year, Christians wonder what they should ‘give’ up for lent? Instead of doing this, I want to ‘pick’ up something that might make my walk with God even better. By picking up a practice like this, I hope to learn that I am letting go of my worries and regularly emptying the recycle bin of my mind.
Specific - Measurable - Achievable - Realistic - Timely.
This is a most brilliant way to pray.
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