Thousands of people are dealing with storms, symptoms, fears, rogue emotions, and anxieties that have upended their lives. A friend said to me the other day, “Dealing with emotional stress and crazy health symptoms is no longer just a topic for conversation. This is an epidemic crisis. Countless people are stirred up, stressed out, and long to know the kind of health, freedom, and wholeness that Jesus promised us.” I asked a couple of friends, one a counselor, the other a doctor, if they were seeing the same thing. Without hesitation, both answered yes.
The pressures of life, the pain in our past, and the stress-perspective we choose, all swirl around us, and even more so within us. There’s not a woman who can honestly say that she’s unaffected by it all. And because of the storm, we react—if not inwardly, then outwardly—to our hurts, our fears, and to our perspective, especially if it’s skewed.
Eventually, our minds, bodies, and emotions suffer the accumulative effect of living an untended life in a stressed-out world.
I’ve learned a valuable lesson from my most recent health storm, and it’s this: What happens in our souls happens in our cells. A distressed soul creates a distressed body. Where our thoughts most often go, our lives follow. And the hurts and heartbreaks that we endure? They too will settle into our souls and into our cells unless we learn to metabolize them with God’s help and loving perspective.
We live in a culture that’s addicted to treating symptoms. We want just enough help to get us on our way so we can continue to live a life of just enough, good enough, well enough. But at what cost to our souls, our story, and our calling—not to mention the very quality of lives?
Something within us changes though when we understand and live as though Jesus cares about how we feel. And He does care! He cares if my soul feels empty or is in distress. He cares if your body feels sick. He cares if our hearts ache and we just can’t get a handle on our fears. He’s with us on this journey. He’s for us. And He wants us well. He says so Himself:
Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.” -Matthew 11:28-30 (NLT)
Scoot closer and revisit this statement: Let me teach you.
There’s a path for us to take where Jesus’ yoke fits us perfectly. There’s a place of faith for us to stand in the storm, where we’ll know peace and strength where we once knew angst and fear. There’s a promise written over our lives that compels us to dream about our future right in the face of our fears. There’s a way to walk in Christ’s light and easy yoke while living in a burdened upside-down world. Jesus us invites us to flourish here, right where we live. There’s our part, and there’s God’s part. So here’s what we’re going to do: we’re going to pursue healing and pray for a miracle.
Here Are 5 Powerful Prayers for Healing and Strength:
1. A Prayer for Soul Healing:
I marvel at the way You love me from immaturity to maturity, from brokenness to wholeness. You don’t berate me for my blunders or belittle me for my weakness. You meet me in those places and make me strong. You bind up my wounds so they can heal. You give rest to my heart so it can beat strong again. You are with me. You are God Most High. Do a miracle in and through me, Lord! Heal my soul and make me whole. Make me a Kingdom woman. Help me to live a life totally disproportionate to who I am. May others pursue You when they see what You do through me! In Jesus’ Name, I pray. Amen.
2. A Prayer for a Fresh Vision of What Healing Looks Like for You:
Dare to daily pray—out loud so your own ears hear it—this bold prayer:
You are a miracle-working God. Give me a vision for what freedom looks like for me. Give me faith to believe You for my miracle. Show me what makes me tired. Show me what masters me and slows me down. Help me to lose my taste for that which weakens me, and acquire a taste for that which strengthens me. Heal me from the inside out! Help me to make the necessary changes. I want to participate with You in my healing process. Awaken fresh life in me!
Wisely Pursue Healing:
When you consider the fact that even today, we can begin a new work in our thoughts, which will directly affect our overall health, why put it off for another day? Start today by pondering, remembering, and rehearsing God’s goodness to you and His affection for you. Like me, you may also have some buried trauma that the enemy has used to accuse and threaten you. But as you ponder the Lord’s great love, you’ll be strategically positioned to face what’s buried beneath the surface. Be proactive with your thought life.
Ruthlessly interrupt and redirect every pattern of thought that:
- Steals your joy
- Makes you feel like others barely tolerate you
- Makes you negatively self-aware
- Compel you to rehearse your failures and missteps
- Gives you a pessimistic view of your future
Because here’s what’s true:
- Jesus doesn’t just tolerate you. He’s crazy about you!
- You have zero reason for negative self-awareness. You are an heir!
- You are completely and forever forgiven because of Jesus
- Jesus already knows the plans He has for you and they’re good plans to prosper, not to harm you, to give you a hope and a future (see Jeremiah 29:11).
Put every thought through the filter of God’s wild and passionate love for you. Practice, practice, practice, and develop new healthy thought patterns that are consistent with God’s thoughts toward you. You will experience a miracle transformation in your brain.
3. A Prayer for Faith to Believe:
Precious Lord, I know You want this for me. I want this for me. Help me to retrain my thoughts and reframe my perspective. I marvel at how often my thoughts take me downward. But like an eagle that soars in the sky, You call me to set my sights on things above. I need supernatural help with this! Fill me afresh with a strong sense of Your presence and Your peace. Help me to remember the great things You have done. May I one day marvel at how my thoughts reflect a heart and mind that are healed and whole, just like You always intended them to be. Do a miracle in me, Lord. In Your Name, I pray. Amen.
Pursue a Redeemed Thought-life:
Oftentimes we stay with the memories that take the greatest toll on our souls. Yes, we need to revisit them to uproot them, but those moments need to be reserved for guarded times with godly mentors or wise counselors. The rest of our thoughts should instinctively go to God’s goodness and provision all around us and in us. None of us are there yet, but it’s a worthy goal. In order to be healthy and whole, and for us to notice the Savior’s healing work in our lives in ways both great and small, we must practice thinking like He does. Our thoughts must flow in rhythm with His.
- Does He have negative thoughts on repeat?
- Then neither should we.
- Does He rehearse how people have hurt and offended Him?
- Then neither should we.
- Does He constantly condemn and accuse Himself?
- Then neither should we.
- Does He long for us to live flourishing, abundant lives?
- Then we should long for and believe for that reality just as much.
God gives us good gifts to enjoy. And it’s actually wonderful for our brains when we engage our senses as we notice all He’s given. How good, healthy, and healing it is for you to smell a bouquet of flowers and enjoy the moment, to taste your food and savor it, and to marvel at the beautiful sunset until it brings tears to your eyes. Spend some time this week noticing the good in your present moments and linger there for a while. It’ll change you from the inside out.
4. A Prayer for a Breakthrough:
Father, I ask You for a fresh vision for what breakthrough will look like in my life. Help me to pursue healing while I wait for my miracle. Show me how to rest right in the middle of the storm. Help me to enjoy the feast You prepare for me, right in the middle of the battlefield. I want my whole life to testify that there’s a God in heaven who knows my name and who will get me safely home. Fill me afresh with the wonder of Your love and power. I am determined to win this battle with anxiety. Help me to discern when to rest, when to feast, and how to actively engage my faith as I wait for You to breakthrough. May my life display Your power. Do the impossible in and through me, I pray. Amen.
Life on earth is short. Eternity is long. God’s promises are true. And if you follow Jesus through the gospels, you’ll find a Savior who cares deeply about the human condition. And so, we’re going to ask God for a fresh vision of what flourishing can look like for us and then we’re going to position ourselves on the path of healing—whatever it takes. Some of this will be hard. But you’re no stranger to hard. You’ve done it before. We can do hard, if it leads us a better life, right? We’re going to roll up our sleeves, take inventory of our habits, give our soul some room to breathe, and maybe change a few of our ways so we can enjoy better health.
And then, we’re going to go before the Most High God, who loves us with a passion that we cannot fathom, and we’re going to ask Him for a miracle, because He’s the same God yesterday, today, and forever. He loves us and He still performs miracles today. So let’s pray.
5. A Prayer for a Miracle:
Lord, Jesus, here I am again, asking You to do what only You can do in my life. Scripture tells me that You are the same yesterday, today, and forever. You are the God who performs miracles! So do a miracle in me! Heal me through and through! Deliver me from my tendency toward anxiety and worry. Show me how You fight for me. Give me a vision for what a healthy-healed-me looks like, and help me to go after that girl with tenacity and purpose. Take my efforts and multiply them, Lord. My soul waits for You to do what only You can do. I love You, Lord. Amen.
1. “Metabolizing our hurts” is a term used by Dr. Jim Wilder
Susie Larson is a popular media voice, author, and national speaker. Her latest book is Fully Alive: Learning to Flourish – Mind, Body, Spirit. A veteran of the fitness field, she has twice been voted a top-ten finalist for the John C. Maxwell Transformational Leadership Award. More at www.SusieLarson.com.
Photo credits in order of appearance: ©Pexels/SimonMigaj, ©Unsplash/RajEiamworakul, ©Unsplash/BenWhite, ©Unsplash/JWayeCovington, ©Unsplash/AmauryGuiterrez, ©Unsplash/BenWhite