A Prayer to Soothe an Anxious Heart
By Jennifer Heeren
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” (Philippians 4:6)
Feelings of worry and nervousness will inevitably pop up as you travel your life’s path. Things will happen that you don’t understand. You will be called to do something even when you don’t have a clue about the outcome. Anxiety will present itself to your uncertain mind. But you don’t have to live there. The answer to anxieties is to go to God as soon as you sense a worry. Don’t wait. Pray immediately and ask for His strength to carry you.
Philippians 4:6 has the first three steps to talk to God about your anxiety:
1. Pray about everything. Does it say only pray about the big problems? I know I have the tendency to try and muddle through in my own meager strength until I can’t go on anymore. But if I do what Philippians says and pray about everything, that really does include everything. God is strong enough to handle ALL my worries. Whereas, I often break from the pressure that I put on myself.
2. Tell God what you need. Don’t use the excuse that He already knows. Of course, He knows already. He’s God. Actually, He knows even more than you do. I tend to get so caught up in my wants, that my real needs are often hidden from view. God may already know what I need but He wants me to always come to Him about everything. Even when I ramble on, He probably just smiles and listens and is glad that I felt comfortable talking with Him
3. Thank Him for all He has done (and will do). Gratefulness goes a long way to cover my anxieties. When I keep a long mental list of all that God has blessed me with, they often crowd out my anxieties. Also, I can keep a mental list of hopes and promises for my future, that also takes up the space that fears try to live. Doubts may seek to fill my mind but thoughts of comfort give me renewed hope and cheer (Psa 94:19).
Go straight to the psalms. The psalms are a great place to go when anxieties seek to overwhelm you. They often begin with a problem and a crying out to the Lord. Then they explain what they want. Finally, the Spirit within the author remembers the truths about just who God is and extreme comfort is the result. The situation may not go away but the attitude changes.
Bring your emotions; don’t hold back. In Psa 31, David comes to the Lord with tears blurring his eyes. He feels as if his body and soul are withering away. He feels sadness is shortening his years. His strength is gone. Like David, we should come to God with all our emotions showing. God knows about them anyway so why should I try to hold something back from him?
Remember that God is very near to you. Psalm 23:4 says that even when I walk through the darkest valley, I will not be afraid, when I remember that the Lord is close beside me. I can remind myself often of this fact that God is indeed very near to me. Then, I don’t have to worry about fighting off my enemies. I can simply let God be God.
Remember that the Lord is your light and salvation. Doubts, fears, and anxieties seek to surround me with darkness—so much that I can’t keep moving forward on my journey. This is Satan’s goal—to stop me from living out my faith in God. But God is my light always, especially when anxiety threatens to darken my path. With that much light all around me, why should I be afraid (Psa 27:1)?
Be desperate. Psalm 34:6 tells me that when I pray out of desperation, the Lord listens and saves me from all my troubles. I can be real and honest with him and I can come to Him like my life depends on it. Just like a parent runs to their child’s cries of distress, God will run to mine. And the more brokenhearted I am, the closer the Lord seems to me (Psa 34:18).
Remember that He is a Good, Good Father. God is indeed a Good Father. Like a mother eagle to her eaglets, God longs to cover you with His feathers and give you full refuge along with a warm place of safety to rest your head (Psa 91:2-4). God promises that He will rescue those who love and trust Him (Psa 91:14). He really does want the best for me and you.
Trust that He has overcome the world and its trials and troubles. Trials, and even sorrows are inevitable in this fallen world where evil so often appears to be winning. But I can have peace despite those troubles. I can take heart and have courage because Jesus has overcome the world (John 16:33). And His Spirit lives within me so I am an overcomer too!
My heart has heard you say, “Come and talk with me.” And my heart responds, “Lord, I am coming.” (Psa 27:8)
Pray with me:
Dear Lord, I thank you that I can come to You always for any reason. I’m grateful that when I pray to You, You answer me. Help me to come to You at the beginning of my fears and anxieties instead of waiting until I can’t stand them anymore. The quicker I come to You the better. You want to free me from ALL my fears. Help me look to You for help more often so that I can be radiant with Your joy. In Jesus’ Name I pray, Amen.
Editor’s Note: Content taken from “How to Talk to God about Your Anxiety” by Jennifer Heeren. You can read that piece in full here. All rights reserved.