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Tuesday- A STRATEGY FOR REDUCING STRESS, by Rick Warren

STEP TWO: PRAY ABOUT EVERYTHING

Whenever God tells you to eliminate something He always has something superior. He always replaces a negative with a positive. V. 6b "In everything, by prayer and petition with thanksgiving, present your requests to God." Paul is saying, don't panic -- pray. If you stopped worrying, realize how much free time you'd have. It would create a great vacuum, a void in your life to stop worrying. Pray during that time. If those people who say "I don't hve time to pray" would spend their time praying instead of worrying, they'd have a whole lot less to worry about. "In everything..." Some people think that God is only interested in you praying about "religious" matters. God is interested in everything in your life. "petition" is a specific, detailed request. Get specific with God. Tell Him exactly what you want and what you need. Most people pray too vague, too general. "God, bless my life." What is a blessing? Sometimes blessings are problems. Don't pray general, vague prayers but be specific. "God, I'm under stress. I'm tense, I'm nervous." Be specific about it. Phillips: "When you pray tell God every detail of your needs." If it's big enough to worry about, it's big enough to pray about.

I Peter 5:7: "Unload all your worries on Him since He is looking after you!" Take our problems to the Lord, pray about everything instead of worrying. Unload them! Pray is a tremendous safety valvue release of pressure. A life insurance company did a study. They learned that people who attend church once a week, they live on the average, 5.7 years longer than the general public. Why? Perhaps, people who attend church every week are more likely to pray than worry. Worry destroys your system. God says unload all your worries on Him. The God who made every thumbprint in the world different and the God who made every snowflake in the world different and the God who made every voice print in the world different is a big enough God to handle all the details in your life. He is a God of details. He can handle anything you give Him. Phillips: "You can throw the whole weight of your anxieties upon Him, for you are His personal concern!" James 4:2 "You have not because you ask not." Twenty times in the New Testament we are told "ask".

Insight: There is no problem that is too big for God's power or too small for God's concern.

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