The Best of One Ringing Bell by Beverly Varnado: Worry less. Pray more.

As I shared last week, after fourteen years of blogging and well over a thousand posts in the archives, this summer I am revisiting a few of the most viewed posts. This post really hit a nerve when I first wrote it I suppose because so many of us struggle with worry in some way. This post first ran in 2018. 

As we whizzed down the road toward coastal Georgia, I turned around in my seat to look behind me.

“What are you doing?” Jerry asked from the driver’s seat.

“Reading a wayside pulpit.”

The adage on it hit me hard.

“Worry less. Pray more,” some pastor or church member had posted in front of their little building. It appeared not more than a few dozen might fit in their sanctuary, but I wondered the countless ones, like me they touched who traveled the busy state highway in front of their building.

Such a simple truth.

Yet, how often what I do is the oppositeworry more, pray less.

I should probably have worry less, pray more tattooed on my forehead. The tattoo artist would probably offer me a senior discount. Irritating.

We might even shorten the thought to pray more or maybe one wordpray.

Pray, I tell myself when I drag out my list of concerns intending to ruminate over them. Again.  

Pray, when something touches one of my children or grandchildren and my anxiety starts to rise.

Pray, when I wonder if I can get the right marketing off the ground for books. Like most writers, marketing is not in my wheelhouse, but so expected by publishers.

Pray, when the thoughts of a thousand tomorrows invade my brain, and how will things ever work out, anyway?

The Apostle Paul said it best in I Thessalonians 5:17, “Pray all the time.” (The Message).

Because here’s the thingif we’re praying all the time, there’s no time for worry. That’s the benchmark.

In an interview with Jerry Jenkins, Billy Graham told Jenkins the Bible instructs us to pray without ceasing and that’s what he did.

“I was stunned,” Jenkins wrote. “You pray without ceasing?”

“I do,” Graham said, “and I have every waking moment since I received Christ at age 16. I’m praying right now as I’m talking to you that everything I say will glorify Christ.”

So, if you were wondering what we should aim for, that’s it. If you’re like me, you’re a good ways off. We might even need a telescope to see the target. No problem. God meets us right where we are in this moment.

And in this moment, what we do is . . . Worry less. Pray more.