Thursday, August 24, 2017

Praying Scripture: For Anxiety

I have found tremendous help in praying Scripture back to God.  This post and the following several posts are prayers that I wrote based on Bible verses.  This first one is for when you are feeling anxious.  I wrote these for me, but I am sharing them with anyone who needs them.  God knows I need them!


 
            Psalm 55:22:  “Cast your cares on the Lord and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous fall.”

            Philippians 4:6-7:  “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.  And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.”

            John 14:27:  “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you.  I do not give to you as the world gives.  Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.”

            Lord, You say that we can present to You all of our concerns and needs.  You say that You will never let us fall, that You will sustain us, and that we will be filled with Your peace, if we are praying with thanksgiving.  Well, I am pouring out my fears and doubts and concerns right now to You.  I am acknowledging how weak I am and that I need You.  I am casting my cares on You because they are too heavy for me.  They are too much for me to handle and I need Your help.  I need to put them in Your hands and let go of them because the weight is crushing me. 

            And I thank You for all of Your faithfulness in the past, how You have always helped me through the hard times and have never left me alone.   I thank You that You can carry the things that I can’t.  Now Lord, please, I need Your peace, the kind of peace that protects my heart and mind in Christ Jesus.  I feel scared and vulnerable and fragile and so broken.  I have no peace of my own.  I need Yours, please.  Thank You for being a God that truly cares about us and that won’t leave us alone in our pain.  Thank You for being faithful.  Thank You for being there, even if no one else is.   

 

                                                            - Heather K (Joshua 24:15, Psalm 46:10)  


Updated November 28, 2017:
 

Just yesterday (November 27), I got so "stress sick" over a health concern for one of my children.  Lately, it seems as if I have been falling into a huge, black hole of despair where all I can do is cry out to the Lord, "Please, come back.  I hate this place.  I hate life sometimes.  I want You to come back and get us out of here.  Please, come back, Lord." 

I have really been hurting inside.  And the stress of everything makes me feel like I just want this life to be over.  I want Jesus to come back again.  I feel so little hope or peace or rest.  And this is not an easy place to be in.  It makes every day a chore.  I'm struggling.  I'm really struggling. 

But in between the tears yesterday and the "sick to my stomach" feeling and the tension pain in my back, I found two things that helped.

1.  As I felt myself starting to spiral into full-fledged panic, I thought to myself, "I can't do it anymore.  I can't carry this burden.  The fear, the unknown.  I can't have this decision rest on me.  I'm not strong enough.  I'm cracking." 

And that's when it hit me (again) that sometimes there's only one thing to do when you feel like the anxiety will break you and you are too weak to carry a burden ... and that's to drop it

Just drop that burden right there on the ground in your mind and tell the Lord, "I'm done with this burden.  I can't carry it anymore.  I'm not strong enough.  And so I'm dropping it at Your feet right now.  You are going to have to do something with it.  You are going to have to carry it and sort it out, because I am going to kill myself trying to do it on my own.  I'm done.  It's Yours now.  I trust You more than I trust myself anyway.  Please, carry this burden for me.  I'm done with it!"

Of course, that doesn't mean that we won't still have to make a decision eventually or take some sort of action, but it does mean that we can rest in Him until then - until He shows us the next step, when it's time to take it. 

I can make myself so sick struggling with the "what ifs" and "but what abouts," with speculation and the unknown details, with the fear of this possibility or that possibility.

But God promises to lead us in the right path if we abide in Him.  We don't have to know all the details ahead of time.  (We don't get to know the details ahead of time anyway, no matter how much we try to figure it out.)  We don't have to wonder about "what if" and "but what about."  He knows all that already.  We just have to listen for when He says it's time to do something.  And until then, sometimes the only thing we can do is drop our fears and anxieties at His feet, declare that we are done with them for now, and let Him worry about them for us.


2.  And once again, I am brought back to the incredible power and encouragement of praying Scripture, of praying God's truth.  This morning, I decided that instead of praying in despair that God would come back and end it all, I was going to find some biblically-sound prayers that other people posted on-line, prayers that relate to anxiety and spiritual warfare.  And I prayed them out loud.  And as I did, I could feel a small bit of peace flood my anxious soul and slowly grow.

http://www.focus-on-prayer.com/Prayers-for-Spiritual-Warfare.html
https://www.crosswalk.com/faith/prayer/prayers/a-prayer-for-spiritual-warfare.html
http://www.inspirational-prayers.com/spiritual-warfare-prayers.html

While these prayers are not necessarily "praying Scripture" prayers, they are good, helpful, truth-filled prayers.  And there are links to other specific prayers on the side-bars of these sites.  If you still need more prayers, google things like "prayers for spiritual warfare" or "praying Scripture back to God" or "prayers for fear, anxiety, encouragement, etc."  And see what other godly people share.  Just be discerning and steer clear of ones that sound too "out there," too mystical and not biblically-sound.  (For starters, try http://greatbiblestudy.com if you are looking for some emotional help and spiritual warfare information.  I haven't read it all, but it's worth a look.)

When our own words fail us or cause us more anxiety, turn to Scripture, to God's Truth, to helpful words from other godly people, to the reality of spiritual warfare and how to battle in it, and even to godly music (click on the links in the side-bar).

And if you want to make your own "Scripture-based prayers" the way I do, simply find verses that speak to what you are going through and then reword them into a prayer, relevant to you and adding the proper pronouns to make it personal.  Remind God of His promises and remind yourself of His truth.  And then pray these prayers out loud.  Write them down even, if you want to.  These prayers seem to carry so much more weight and power than our own words do, especially when our own words are filled with panic and fear and despair.


(This post is linked up at https://holleygerth.com/blog/ and http://www.godsizeddreams.com)

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