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What I Would Tell My Younger Self | Pray More, Worry Less

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie
The Truth Network Radio
February 2, 2023 3:00 am

What I Would Tell My Younger Self | Pray More, Worry Less

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie

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February 2, 2023 3:00 am

No one ever teaches us how to worry. Our parents don’t sit us down and say, “Okay, kids, I want you to put your head in your hands, look really discouraged, and stress out on something you can’t change.” No, we pretty much picked it up on our own. Well today on A NEW BEGINNING, Pastor Greg Laurie helps us lay down that which we’ve picked up. He’ll offer up some practical precepts in a message called What I Would Tell My Younger Self. Insight for everyone, particularly young people.

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A New Beginning is the daily half-hour program hosted by Greg Laurie, pastor of Harvest Christian Fellowship in Southern California. For over 30 years, Pastor Greg and Harvest Ministries have endeavored to know God and make Him known through media and large-scale evangelism. This podcast is supported by the generosity of our Harvest Partners.

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Today's episode of A New Beginning is brought to you by Harvest Partners, helping people everywhere know God.

Learn more at And while you're there, browse our library of free eBooks designed to help you grow in your faith. Turn it into prayer. Pray more and worry less. No one ever teaches us how to worry. Our parents don't sit us down and say, okay kids, I want you to put your head in your hands, look really discouraged, and stress out on something you can't change.

No, we pretty much picked it up on our own. Well, today on A New Beginning, Pastor Greg Laurie helps us lay down that wish we picked up. He'll offer some practical precepts in a message called What I Would Tell My Younger Self, an insight for everyone, particularly young people. Let me give you a little bit of advice. Maybe you don't have a mom and a dad that are doing this for you or a grandfather. Let me be your dad for a few minutes or your grandfather and say things to you that you need said to you as a younger person.

This first one may be surprising, but I'm going to start with this. Whatever you're going through, it's going to be okay. Whatever you're going through, it's going to be okay. I know when you're young and you're experiencing things for the first time, life can seem kind of scary. You're wondering about what you're going to do with your life, where you're going to go, who you're going to marry, what career path you're going to choose, and then maybe something bad happens to you. You have a huge setback.

You break up with your boyfriend or your girlfriend, and it almost seems like your world has just ended. Listen. It's going to be okay. Whatever you're going through, you're going to get through it.

Number two. What would I say to my younger self? Put God first in your life. Put God first in your life. This, of course, starts with asking Christ to come into your life, but then it means following Him. Jesus summed it up this way in Matthew 6 33. Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. Now what was He talking about when He said all these things?

Jesus said, don't be like the nonbelievers. All they think about is what they're going to wear, what they're going to drink, what they're going to eat. But I say to you, seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and these things will be added to you. And we're obsessed with all those things.

What we'll eat, what we'll drink, what we'll wear, where we'll go, what we'll drive, where we will work, where we will live. These are not bad things, by the way, to think about. But Jesus is saying, don't make those the focus of your life. Put God first in your life. Seek first the kingdom of God.

What does that mean? The kingdom of God is the rule and reign of Christ in your life. See one day we'll go to heaven and enter into the kingdom of God, and the kingdom of God will come to earth. But also, when the Bible tells us to seek it first, it means just put Jesus first. Think about God's will when you make those decisions. Don't put money first. Don't put career first. Don't put politics first. Don't even put ministry first.

Put Jesus first and He will take care of you in life. There was a young Solomon ascending to the throne. His father David had died. And the Lord comes to Solomon and says, Solomon, ask me for whatever you want and I will give it to you. Imagine for a moment if God came to you and said, ask what you want and I'll give it to you. What would you ask for? Solomon said, Lord, I pray for wisdom.

Wisdom to lead your people. The Lord in effect said, because you didn't pray for stuff. You didn't pray for possessions. You didn't pray for great wealth or honor.

I'm going to give you the wisdom you ask for and all these other things as well. It's a perfect illustration of why putting God first is the right thing to do. That doesn't mean that God's going to make everybody incredibly wealthy. But what it does mean is God, the Bible says, will supply all of your needs according to His riches and glory in Christ Jesus. So put God first in your life.

That's where I would start. What is the will of God, you might ask? About this thing I'm about to do. How do you know the will of God? Answer. By reading the Word of God.

He'll reveal His will to you in scripture. Understand this. Why are you in this earth? And this answers a big question. The question of why am I here? What is the meaning of my life?

Here's the answer. The meaning of your life. You are here to bring glory to God. Not to bring glory to yourself. Isaiah 43 7 God says, everyone who was called by my name whom I created for my glory. That's why you're here. So know this. God wants to speak to you.

God wants to fill you with this Holy Spirit each and every day. Put God first in your life and the rest will be blessed. Here's point number three.

What would I say to my younger self? I would say young Greg read the Bible every day. And I pretty much followed that advice thankfully.

And I hope many of you are following it as well. Because sometimes I think Christians as they grow in their faith think well I don't need to read the Bible as much as I used to. No listen. You need to read the Bible every single day. You should start the day with it. You should end the day with it. In Psalm 1 it says happy is the man or the woman who doesn't walk in the counsel of the ungodly or stand in the way of sinners or sit in the seat of the scornful.

Listen. His delight is in the word of the Lord and in it does he meditate day and night. Then it goes on to say he'll be like a tree planted by the rivers of water.

His leaf shall not wither and whatsoever he does shall prosper. Happy is that man. You want to be a happy man.

You want to be a happy woman. Read the word of God. It says meditate in it. In eastern meditation one seeks to empty their mind. In biblical meditation one fills their mind with the word of God. This is how you're going to grow spiritually. This is how you will be able to resist temptation. We're told in the Psalms how shall a young man cleanse his way?

Answer. By listening to what the word of God says. So you need to read the Bible every day because scripture says study to show yourself approved unto God a workman that does not need to be ashamed rightly dividing the word of truth.

Listen to this. Success or failure in the Christian life depends on how much of the Bible you get into your life on a regular basis and how obedient you are to it. I'm going to repeat that. Success or failure in the Christian life depends on how much of the word of God you get into your life on a regular basis and how obedient you are to it. So read the word. Treasure the word.

Memorize the word. I've never met a strong Christian who is not full of scripture. Pastor Greg Laurie will have the second half of his message in just a moment. We love hearing what Pastor Greg's teachings touch individuals and families. Hi Pastor Greg. I want to let you know that I was saved at your harvest crusade last year along with my husband and my daughter. After hearing your recent message on anxiety my friend also accepted Jesus.

Thank you for your continued commitment to the Lord and may God continue to use you to bring more people to him. We're so grateful to hear of the changed lives through Harvest Ministries and if you have a story to tell of how these studies have touched your life or that of a family member I hope you'll contact us today. Email Pastor Greg. Greg at

That's Greg at You've tuned in for a fascinating study from Pastor Greg today called What I Would Tell My Younger Self. Let's continue. Here's the fourth thing I would say to a younger me. Stop worrying and start praying. I know we all have things we worry about in life but I'm reminded of the words of the Apostle Paul in Philippians 4 when he says don't worry about anything. Pray about everything. Tell God what you need.

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 heart and mind as you live in Christ Jesus. Worry. Worry can ruin your day. It can ruin your week. It can ruin your month. Actually worry can effectively ruin your life.

The word worry comes from a root word that means to choke or to strangle. A number of years ago my grandkids would like to come up and choke me from behind. They thought that was very cute and fun and it was okay.

They were very small. They weren't hurting me. And so they would come over and say Papa can we choke you? Well as they've gotten older if I let them do that now I might die.

So we can't play that game anymore. But that's what worry does. It chokes you out. It doesn't make things better. It makes them worse. John Curtis director of the University of Wisconsin Stress Management Institute says quote, I believe that 90% of the stress we face is brought on by not living in the present moment worrying about what's already happened or what's going to happen or what could happen.

Listen to this. When you worry about the future you cripple yourself in the present. Worry does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow.

It empties today of its strength. I mean even when things are going well oh it's a good day. Nothing's going wrong. And then you start worrying what's going to go wrong. Something's going to go wrong. I just know it. What's that all about? That cannot be helpful. I read a Peanuts comic strip and Charlie Brown says I have a new philosophy I'm only going to dread one day at a time.

Well actually Jesus said this. Today's trouble is enough for today. Don't worry about tomorrow.

Just take each day and take that worry and turn it into prayer. I would compare this to a natural reflex and a conditioned reflex. To learn how to turn worry into prayer is a conditioned reflex.

Let me explain. Natural reflex. You don't have to teach this. If even a little child touches a hot stove they pull their hand back right. Because they know that's hot.

They know they should not touch that. That's a natural reflex. If you touch a hot iron the same thing happens. I heard about a guy that went to see a doctor. He had two horribly burned ears. So the doctor said what happened to you? He says well doc I was ironing and I got a phone call and I answered the iron instead of the phone. The doctor was horrified. I can't believe you did that.

But what happened to the other ear? The guy says well he called back. Okay so anyway natural reflex. I touch something hot. I pull back again.

But then there's a conditioned reflex. This is something I'm taught to do. I have a granddaughter named Ally.

She has swim meets on Saturdays. And before the meet begins they have someone sing the national anthem. What does everyone do? We stand. We put our hand over our heart in respect for our nation.

Which is represented by our flag that we look toward. That is a conditioned reflex. I would not have done that. Naturally someone had to teach me to do that. Same thing with driving. You know when you first learn to drive. Remember I have a granddaughter that's just learning how to drive. So I let her drive the other day and I was next to her. And you know she had to think about everything.

You know oh what do I do now? Turn your turning signal on. Oh and parking. That's a situation isn't it?

Trying to figure that out. So you have to consciously think about everything you're doing. And if you're in a stick shift car manual transmission. Okay I got to push in the clutch. I have it in gear. I slowly release the clutch. Then I hit the accelerator. You know a lot of things to remember.

But after a while you don't think about it anymore. You drive. You eat burritos. You do your taxes.

You actually shouldn't. But you do all kinds of things when you're driving because you've turned that into a conditioned reaction. A conditioned way to respond to what you're facing. So now in the same way worry hits. Anxiety hits. Panic hits.

Right away. Pray. Oh I'm scared. Let's pray.

Just let's pray. Stop everything you're doing and commit it to the Lord. In 1 Peter 5 we read these words.

Give all your worries and cares to God for He cares for you. And by the way in the original language that signifies a definite act of our will where we choose to stop worrying and let God assume the responsibility for our welfare. You take out the trash. I don't know why it is but men have been basically chosen to take the trash out. That is our job. And that's what we're supposed to do. And I don't know why but I always put off taking the trash out.

It's not hard. I have these big plastic cans with a handle and a wheel. All I have to do is throw the trash in the can. Take it out a few feet. Put it in front of my house and the trash man picks it up.

But I have to take it out. Your worries. Your anxieties are like trash. Take them out and make a deliberate choice to give them over to the Lord.

The same is true of all anxiety and worry. Pray more and worry less. Billy Graham was interviewed and he was asked the question if he had his life to live over what would he do differently. Billy's response was quote I would study more. I would pray more. I would travel less.

Take less speaking engagements. If I had it to do all over again Billy said I would spend more time in meditation and prayer just telling the Lord how much I love and adore him and looking forward to the time where I will spend with him for all eternity. Well Billy's in that time now.

Billy's in heaven. But I love how he said if I had life to do over he doesn't say I'd speak more. I'd do more. He says I'd pray more and I would spend more time in God's presence. I think that's really good advice.

Remember this. God is in control of your life. There are no accidents in the life of a Christian.

Only providence. We don't believe in fate. We believe in faith. Here's another thing an older Greg would say to a younger Greg. Advice I would give to anyone young people but older people as well. Have an attitude of gratitude. Have an attitude of gratitude. Back to the verse I quoted in Philippians 4. Thank God for all he has done.

Then you will experience God's peace which exceeds anything we can understand. Listen there are things in life that happen to us that make no sense. Inexplicable things.

Yes it is true. Bad things happen to good people. Sometimes bad things even happen to godly people.

Take Job as an example. This was a godly man. This man was so godly the Lord was bragging on him in heaven. But the Lord allowed a series of calamities to befall his servant. And Job lost pretty much everything. He lost members of his family. He lost his possessions.

He lost his health. And we read that Job gave thanks to God. Not for what was happening but despite what was happening Job gave thanks to the Lord. And so we should have an attitude of gratitude. We say Lord I don't know why this is happening but I am rejoicing that you're still on the throne. And I'm going to give thanks to you because you are good and you are in control of my life. So spend less time complaining and spend more time rejoicing. You'll feel better if you do.

Actually a medical research has been done that has revealed that people who gave gratitude to God and gave thanks for what they had experienced fewer heart issues, fewer aches and pains and it changed their outlook on life. Here's another piece of advice an older me would give to a younger me but that I would give to any person especially a young person. Live with honesty and integrity. What is integrity?

Integrity is what you are in the dark when nobody is watching you. And I bring this up because you know there are people in life that cheat and they lie and they steal and they cut corners and they seem to get away with it. And they say well why shouldn't I do that? Why should I play by the rules? They don't play by the rules. And look they got that job because they lied on their resume or they got that job to build that building even though they cut corners and didn't pull the proper permits. Or look that person cheated on their spouse and they got away with it and I've been faithful to my spouse and why shouldn't I do what they do?

Because in the end all these people are going to reap what they sow. The Bible says don't be deceived God is not mocked whatsoever a man sows that will he also reap. Listen the longer I live the more impressed I am with character over charisma. I've seen a lot of preachers with dynamic personalities flame out because they did not seek to maintain honesty and integrity. Psalm 101 verse 2 says I'm careful to live a blameless life.

I will lead a life of integrity in my own home. Then Psalm 119 one says joyful people are people of integrity. The great evangelist D.L. Moody once said if I take care of my character God will take care of my reputation. In the Bible we read of Daniel a man of integrity a man who did the right thing. In fact one time he was arrested for it because he prayed after the king had signed a decree that no one could pray to any god except him. Well Daniel prayed anyway and his enemies came and had him arrested and thrown into a lion's den.

Pretty bleak scenario but how did that story end? Oh the very men that lied about Daniel ended up being eaten by the lions and Daniel lived to pray another day. Same thing is true of Joseph. His story is in the book of Genesis.

This is he young man who lived with honesty and integrity and though he was falsely accused of raping the wife of Potiphar he was vindicated in the end and you will be too. Great insights today from Pastor Greg Laurie from his message called what I would tell my younger self. It's one of the most requested messages of the past year and he has much more to come as this message continues here on A New Beginning. And then we hope you're making plans to see Jesus Revolution the brand new movie from Pastor Greg and the Irwin brothers of Kingdom Story Company.

It's a compelling look at the time of the Jesus movement of the late 60s and early 70s and how the chaos and uncertainty of the era prepared the way for spiritual renewal. Things are really bad. The Vietnam War was still raging. Young men were coming back in body bags. There were riots in the streets, racial tension at an all-time high.

The country seemed to be coming a part of the scene. Think for yourself and question authority. Get as high as you possibly can. Turn on.

Tune in and drop out. It was a hopeless time for many. I could be in the middle of a crowd until so long. Pastor Chuck Smith of Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa reached so many. They're lost.

They need the Lord. One of those young people who found the Lord was a teenager named Greg Laurie. And I walked into this church crammed full of people. They were in the pews sitting on the floor, standing on the sides. The place was overflowing.

And I was overwhelmed by it all to be honest with you. Pastor Greg came to Christ during the Jesus movement. And his experiences are the thread that runs through the new feature film Jesus Revolution.

It's coming out soon. Pastor Greg, what do you think will surprise people the most when they see Jesus Revolution? Okay, I think they're going to be surprised at how gritty and realistic it is. We don't pull our punches. We show the emptiness of bad choices including drugs.

We show the search of a generation. Number two, I think they'll be surprised at how funny the film is at times. It's huge laughs in certain moments of the film.

Very enjoyable. I think they'll be moved very emotionally. I think they'll shed a tear or two when they watch certain scenes from this film. But then the last thing I would say is they'll be surprised at how much gospel is in it. Like how the gospel is there in the story. And there's even a moment where Greg and this hippie evangelist named Lonnie Frisbee pray together. And I believe when that scene is played in the theaters that there will be people praying that prayer along with Greg. So there's a lot of twists and turns in this film that surprise people.

But I've had so many people say they just loved it. And John Irwin who's made many incredible films, Woodlawn, American Underdog, I Still Believe, I Can Only Imagine, says hands down this is the best film I've ever made. It's the most important film I've ever made. Every film I've made has been leading to this film.

So I really think you need to get out there and see this film in the theater. And you know what? Take someone with you. It's a great shared experience with someone you care about. Take someone with you that does not yet know the Lord.

I think you could have an incredible conversation after and you might even find that person open to giving their life to Jesus. Yeah, that's right. And that's what it's all about. Well, mark the date. February 24th is the official release of Jesus Revolution. It's a moving evangelistic story wrapped in a great motion picture.

And by the way, there will be a special national preview showing February 22nd, two days earlier. It'll feature special bonus content, including an easy to understand presentation of the gospel by Pastor Greg. So make plans to bring someone who needs the Lord. That's what we're all about, sharing the hope of Christ with those who need that hope. To get tickets to this special preview February 22nd, go to

Now that's dot movie, not dot com. Again, And thanks so much for partnering with us as we share the gospel in this innovative way. You partner with us as you support the film at your local theater. And you partner with us when you send a donation to support sharing the gospel. In fact, to thank you for your generosity right now, we want to send you the book that tells the story in more depth.

It's also called Jesus Revolution. We'll send you the book to thank you for your investment. So get in touch today. Our 24-7 phone number is 1-800-821-3300.

Again, 1-800-821-3300. Or go online to Hey, I don't know if you know about this, but we have a weekend service called Harvest at Home, exclusively for people that are tuning in literally from around the world. Listen to this. We even have harvest groups where you can get into a small group with folks from all around this planet of ours and study the Word of God. So join us this weekend, Saturday and Sunday, for Harvest at Home at Well, next time, Pastor Greg has more godly counsel by way of this unique message called What I Would Tell My Younger Self. Join us here on A New Beginning with pastor and Bible teacher, Greg Laurie.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-02-02 05:12:13 / 2023-02-02 05:22:12 / 10

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