Anxiety affects us all at one time or another. In my previous post, Surviving the tsunami of a job loss, I described how anxiety suppresses our creative thinking about how we might respond.
In this post and the next, I offer some ways to reduce anxiety which I’ve found helpful at times of uncertainty in my life.
Whether you’re experiencing a recent job loss, an uncertain health challenge, or relationship issue, there is nothing more important you can do than to pray.
A friend of mine once asked me, “Why do people say, ‘All I can do now is pray’ as if that’s the option of last resort? Shouldn’t it be our first?”
So, in the spirit of offering you a place to start, here’s a prayer I wrote for myself just to get your own prayer juices going. Each paragraph is annotated with notes below for further scripture readings.
I have no reliable place to turn but You. (2)
But You are enough. You always have been. I just keep forgetting that. And, here I am, needing yet another reminder from you. (3)
I need to know that you haven’t forgotten me. That you are for me, not against me. That’s the richest knowledge I might possess. (4)
I need to know that I’m in not alone in a cul-de-sac. That even in this present situation there is a way of escape. It is not without purpose that You are here with me now. As my Guide. As my Friend. And as my Comforter. I need not be frenetic nor despondent, but trusting. (5)
And I need to know that I will have the strength to see and to grasp what you are preparing. That You are using this present situation to prepare me for something You have in mind. Something greater than I can presently conceive. May I have the eyes to see and the hands to grasp the opportunities that will come my way. (6)
May You be pleased to fulfill every good purpose of yours in me. (7)
Some selected scriptures for further reading and meditation:
(1) Psalm 25:16; Psalm 27; Psalm 42; Psalm 86:7
(2) Psalm 18:1-6; Psalm 25:15
(3) 2 Corinthians 12:9
(4) Romans 8:31-8:32
(5) Hebrews 13:5; James 1:2-4
(6) Job 42:5; Ephesians 2:10; Ephesians 5:15-16
(7) 2 Thessalonians 1:11
What are some of the prayerful reminders that are important to you during anxious times?