Anxiety is hard. One moment you feel fine, and the next you feel like life is falling apart. One moment it feels like you can conquer anything, but the next thing you know, worries of the past, present and future come rushing in, almost to the point of being debilitating.
These five practical ways to pray for peace when you have anxiety really do work. Try them out for yourself.
1. Pray one day at a time
We often get ahead of ourselves, worrying about things that haven’t happened yet (and maybe won’t happen at all). Worrying about tomorrow is useless. When we struggle with anxiety, it’s important to remember to pray every day for that day only.
“Therefore, do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.” – Matthew 6:34
2. Pray for an increase in trust
Anxiety comes from a place of fear and fear is a trap from the enemy. If he can keep us fearful, we won’t move forward in God’s plan for our lives. Trusting in God replaces fear and opens any trap the enemy laid for us.
“Fear of man will prove to be a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord is kept safe.” – Proverbs 29:25
3. Pray for strength
Following God and trusting Him always takes a measure of courage, so when we’re feeling anxious, praying for strength will give us courage to push past the trap of fear. Overcoming fear will lessen anxiety and give us strength for next time.
“Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” – Isaiah 41:10
4. Pray for gifts of kindness
God often gives us little gifts along our way, most of which we don’t notice. These are meant to be an encouragement to us. One of these gifts may be a kind word. Perhaps there’s someone in your life who is always giving you a supportive word. Maybe a stranger in the coffee shop paid for your coffee. Those acts of kindness are gifts from God to you. In our tough times, we can pray for encouragement and support in the form of kindness. Whenever it happens, remember that’s God’s way of saying, “Hey, I just want you to know that I love you and I’m here.”
“Anxiety weighs down the heart, but a kind word cheers it up.” – Proverbs 12:25
5. Pray for intimacy with the Holy Spirit
On our own, our minds are lost in a rat race, bombarded with selfishness and anxiety woven into the core of who we are. Intimacy with the Holy Spirit is the only way to have true freedom from our destructive thought patterns. Yes, counseling can teach us how to change our thinking. Sometimes, medication is necessary to help clear our minds to do so. However, for freedom, we need the Holy Spirit to teach us how to think with the mind of Christ.
As you begin to pray these practical ways, it’s our hope you’ll begin to feel the anxious and upsetting thoughts begin to fade away. Like anything else in life, it’s a long process, and not one that can be remedied all at once. It takes practice – and that’s okay.