A Prayer to Let Go of Negativity
By Tracie Miles
“Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.” Romans 12:2 (NLT)
Several years ago, I went to a summer camp for girls with my daughter Kaitlyn. One of the group activities Kaitlyn looked forward to was the high ropes and zip-line course. Her enthusiasm was so contagious … I even put my name on the list to participate. The time came to put on our safety gear and listen to the guide for basic instructions. As we patiently waited in line, Kaitlyn became more and more excited, but I grew more and more nervous.
The more I doubted my abilities, the more my confidence sunk. As I allowed negative thoughts (even some irrational ones) to fill my mind, the likelihood of actually going through with this activity greatly diminished. Unfortunately, my turn finally came, and I began slowly and hesitantly making my way up the tree — with zero percent confidence and 100 percent doubt. No more than 30 seconds had passed when I caved to my fears. I immediately climbed right back down the tree, took off my safety gear and surrendered defeat. I went right back to my comfort zone where it seemed safer.
Missing out on this activity wasn’t really a big deal in the big scheme of life. But I couldn’t help but wonder how many big things I’d missed in the past because of negative thinking — like pursuing God’s call on my life. I thought back to times when I knew God called me to share my testimony, but I’d allowed fears of judgment or shame to silence me. I considered the years I wasted not writing and speaking for His kingdom, my negative thoughts convincing me I wasn’t worthy or qualified to do either.
When we allow negative thinking to take up residence in our minds, our thoughts will become an obstacle to our obedience. Pessimistic thinking — whether about our life, our self-worth or our abilities — will always stand in the way of following God’s call.
Romans 12:2 assures us when we invite God to transform our minds and change how we think, He’ll do exactly that. Negative thinking can keep us from pursuing God’s call to be a leader in His kingdom. But the good news is, we don’t have to let them. Intentionally choosing to put aside negative thoughts about ourselves empowers us to stand strong when the enemy tries to thwart our efforts.
When our thoughts are positive, our hearts will be too, and obedience will flow more naturally.
Lord, forgive me for letting fears and doubts get in the way of my obedience. Give me the strength and desire to step out in faith and trust that I am equipped and capable in Your strength. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Editor’s Note: Content taken from the Encouragement for Today devotional, When Negative Thinking Stands in the Way of Following God’s Call, written by Tracie Miles. You can read that piece in full here. All rights reserved.
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Originally published Saturday, 29 February 2020.