Here is a paraphrase of Matthew 6:25-23. I have turned it into a prayer to make it more personal. This is a potent spiritual practice that gets scripture more deeply into your heart.
Thank You, Jesus, that there is no good reason to worry about my life. You faithfully provided my family and me everything we need to eat, drink and wear. I have yet to go hungry or naked. Life is more than what keeps my body alive and warm. I find life in You, Lord. 26 Out my window, I hear a bird peeping. I see two sparrows fly by. I see a mockingbird. The sound of birdsongs expands as I give attention to them. And I don’t see birds planting gardens or harvesting crops. I see them flying about or landing on the ground, then finding the food they need. God has even used us to feed some of the hummingbirds in our neighborhood. None of these birds seems worried about their provision or their future. Thanks that You care for them…and for me even more. I mean more to You than these beautiful birds. And thank You, Jesus, for two doves that often rest on the fence below me here. You love and care for me. 27 When I worry, I never actually improve my life–not even a little bit. Worry doesn’t make my life any longer or better. In fact, the opposite is more often true. Worry shortens and sours me.
28 I have sometimes worried that my clothes aren’t as fashionable as the ones others wear here in Orange County. But as I look at the beauty of the flowering trees visible from my window, I realize that You are the One Who makes me attractive…and not by what I wear. Beauty is not a matter of my work, but of Your grace. 29 You do better and more beautiful work with simple things like field flowers than even the finest designers of human fashion can do at their best. And I am in Your hands, Father. 30 It amazes me that You give such beauty to flowers whose lifespan can be measured in hours or days—flowers that may never be seen by a single human eye. Thanks for how You beautify my life and make it truly attractive. I entrust myself to Your work in this way, Father. Grow my simple trust in You.
31 So, Father, as You enable me, I will not worry about my food, my drink, my clothing or any other basic needs. 32 To worry in this way would make me little better than the one who does not even know You. If I’m chasing after money so I can buy what I think I need, I am denying that You are my Provider. I am saying by my actions that You don’t know what I need…or that You don’t care. 33 So rather than running after “things I need”, I will instead seek first Your reign and Your right. Everything else will fall into its proper place if I do this. 34 I will not worry about tomorrow…or the rest of the week. I will not worry about tasks that need my attention or upcoming appointments. All I have is today to live. So may I live Jesus in it.