Fear not, for I am with you. Do not be dismayed. I am your God. I will strengthen you; I will help you. I will uphold you with my victorious right hand. Isaiah 41: 10 (TLB)

Don't worry about anything; instead, pray about everything; tell God your needs and don't forget to thank him for his answers. Philippians 4:6 (TLB)

Amy Lynn Taylor is from Colorado. She is terrified of drowning, so she has avoided water most of her life. Before she turned 40, however, she decided to face her fears and take swimming lessons. Her coach knew she was nervous and had her do an exercise each week before he started his instruction. Amy gripped the side of the pool and bobbed up and down, dunking her head under water and coming back up for air. She did this 100 times before the fear left her body. Then she was relaxed enough to learn.

God knows that we are prone to worry. Scripture repeatedly tells us not to be afraid, not to fear, not to be anxious. Besides wanting better for us than a life of fear, like her wise swim coach, God knows we cannot receive instruction if worried thoughts distract us. So God gives us an exercise to help: pray about every situation with thanksgiving.

Anxious thoughts and gratitude cannot occupy our minds at the same time. When troubles increase, we may find it difficult to name even one reason to be thankful. But we can start by saying, "Thank you, God, for allowing me to come to you with my requests." God will take our prayer of thanksgiving and help us to give thanks in all circumstances.

Prayer: Dear God, thank you for your promise to strengthen us and help us. Open our eyes to your many blessings. We want to have thankful hearts, in Jesus' name. Amen.

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