The advice of our Holy Fathers and Mothers is simple and direct, but probably too difficult for us to use all at once without practice. They remind us that worries are temptations and that, when beset by worries and troubles of all kinds, we should as Christians give them over to the Lord and do this as quickly as possible. How? Not by some extraordinary feat of concentration whereby we might herd our thoughts into a box and seal them away! Not at all! Rather, when we cannot simply turn away from them, we do this by making our worries the very subject of our prayers. The only sure way to put our worries to rest is to ask the Lord—not neglecting to employ the intercession of His saints—to resolve whatever is troubling us in whatever way He deems best, thus surrendering the outcome into His hands. Our Holy Fathers and Mothers lived their daily lives on this exalted and most simple plane. Not only do such prayers resolve the difficulties themselves causing our worry. They bring peace of heart, purify, correct and illumine our thoughts, and lead us to repentance and pure prayer—the prayer that is beyond words.
However, to repeat what was said above, to live and pray this way takes practice. As with anything else, at first one must remind oneself that there is a way to be rid of the burden of worry, and the way is Christ. Then, one must make the effort to turn to Him, to pour out one’s worries and troubles to Him, and to give the burden of them to Him. Over time, one finds oneself referring to this pattern more and more readily in the face of whatever comes until it is simply second nature.
St. Paul asks us, “Who shall separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus?” Nothing. Nothing can separate us from the love of God—not even my mental ugliness, confusion and distraction. All of this can become prayer because none of it changes God’s love for us.