A Message for Control Freaks

September 30, 2016

“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer …let your requests be made known to God.” (Philippians 4:6)

Have you ever heard someone confess, “I’m a control freak?” My response is: “Welcome to the human family!” The truth is we’re all control freaks.  Both Jesus and Paul taught that we should not be anxious.  What they meant was don’t worry.  They also taught us not to worry about the things we cannot control – like the height of our body.

Speaking as one control freak to another, the thing that really freaks us out is what we cannot control.  In what Alcoholics Anonymous calls the “Big Book,” there is an illustration with which all of us control freaks can resonate.  We think that life is a stage on which we are directing a play.  The people in our life are characters in that play.  As the play director we give them their scripts and their cues, but when they don’t respond to our direction, our frustration drives us into a bottle or some other addiction.

When I was a student I had a mentor who wrote a poem with these lines: “You can’t control the weather or rainy days, but you can control the emotional climate that surrounds you.  You can’t control the height your head will be from the sidewalk, but you can control the height of the contents of your head.”

After quite a few of those his punch line was, “Why worry about the things you cannot control? Accept the responsibility for the things that do depend on you.”

Follow the advice of Jesus and Paul and don’t worry about what you can’t control.

Dick Woodward, 20 February 2011


Prayer Changes Things!!

September 20, 2016

“Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank Him for all He has done. Then you will experience God’s peace which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you rest in Christ Jesus.”  (Philippians 4:6-7 NLT)

In these verses the Apostle Paul is challenging us with two options: when we are facing challenging problems we can worry about them, or we can turn our challenging problems into prayer requests.  Paul writes that we are not to worry because worry is counterproductive.  He prescribes that if we are overwhelmed with problems, we should let our mountain of problems turn us into prayer warriors.

So, here we have two options: we can be worriers, or we can be warriors. Prayer changes things!  Worry, on the other hand does not change anything except for the severe negative consequences it can have on our body, soul and spirit.  When we consider the devastating effects of worry and the miraculous results of answered prayer, we should resolve our two options into one.

When we realize we are anxious and uptight, and we know it is because we are choosing to be worriers, we should ask God to convert us into prayer warriors.  We should hold our problems up before the Lord and trade our futile worries for powerful prayers.  God may deliver us from those problems or give us the grace to cope with them.  But, in either case, God will give us peace.

Paul writes that God will stand guard over our hearts and minds and give us supernatural peace as we rest in what Christ will do.

Dick Woodward, 29 November 2011


Prayer Changes Things!!

November 14, 2014

“Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank Him for all He has done. Then you will experience God’s peace which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you rest in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4: 6-7 NLT)

In these two verses the Apostle Paul is challenging us with two options: when we are facing challenging problems we can worry about them, or we can turn our problems into prayer requests.  The reason Paul writes that we are not to worry is because worry is counter-productive.  He therefore prescribes that if we are overwhelmed with problems, we should let our mountain of problems turn us into prayer warriors.

So here we have two options.  We can be worriers, or we can be warriors. Prayer changes things!  Worry, on the other hand does not change anything except for the severe negative consequences it can have on our body, soul and spirit.  When we consider the devastating effects of worry and the miraculous results of answered prayer, that no-brainer should resolve our two options into one.

When we realize we are anxious or uptight and we know it is because we are choosing to be worriers, we should ask God to convert us into prayer warriors.  We should hold our problems up before the Lord and trade our futile worries for powerful prayers.  He may deliver us from those problems or give us the grace to cope with them.  But, in either case, He will give us peace.

Paul writes that God will stand guard like a soldier over our hearts and minds and give us supernatural peace as they rest in what Christ will do.

Dick Woodward, 29 November 2011