Pray, and let God worry.Martin Luther
Yes, Martin Luther really said this, or wrote it. In his final letter to his wife, written just a few days before he died, Luther wrote these words to his beloved Katie. Here is a longer excerpt of his loving, but also teasingly playful, letter:
I thank you very kindly for your great worry which robs you of sleep. Since the date that you [started to] worry about me, the fire in my quarters, right outside the door of my room, tried to devour me; and yesterday, no doubt because of the strength of your worries, a stone almost fell on my head and nearly squashed me as in a mouse trap. For in our secret chamber [the toilet], mortar has been falling down for about two days; we called in some people who [merely] touched the stone with two fingers and it fell down. The stone was as big as a long pillow and as wide as a large hand; it intended to repay you for your holy worries, had the dear angels not protected [me]. [Now] I worry that if you do not stop worrying the earth will finally swallow us up and all the elements will chase us. Is this the way you learned the Catechism and the faith? Pray, and let God worry. You have certainly not been commanded to worry about me or about yourself. “Cast your burden on the Lord, and he will sustain you (Ps. 55:22).”Martin Luther
Isn’t that wonderful? I can’t help but smile when I read these words to his beloved wife.
God’s word, God’s letter to us, tells us, in no uncertain terms, not to worry, but that’s easier said than done, isn’t it? I personally have always had a difficult time with this command. I used to feel guilty about this, about my inability to stop my worrying, until I took wisdom from this quote, and began turning my worries into prayers. I can’t not worry, but I can turn my worries into prayers. I can pray, and let God worry, as Luther put it. (Not that God ever worries, of course. In fact, another translation of this quote might be more accurate: Pray, and let God have the care.)
But either way, the point is that we should spend less time worrying and more time praying. Worry for me has become a signal that I need to share that concern with the Lord. When I catch myself worrying about something or someone, I turn my worries into prayer, I cast my burden on the Lord, trusting God to care for the particular situation or person far better than I ever could.
Do not worry about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.Philippians 4:4-7