The rain splashed across the window next to the cozy couch in which I sat, nuzzled up in a warm blanket. I finally had a night all to myself. The movie I’d been waiting to watch all week was just beginning. But as the opening credits rolled—a sight that normally fills me with delight—I found myself trapped in a vague sense of dread and urgency.
It was the ideal night in, but I just couldn’t seem to relax.
After a hectic week of outings and deadlines, it felt impossible to quiet my mind. I felt my chest tighten and noticed my jaw clenching. How in the world am I supposed to relax right now? I asked myself. Why can’t I just enjoy this one moment of peace?
Has this ever happened to you before? Where all the stress and craziness of life stops you from ever truly enjoying down time?
When it’s hard for me to unwind, I try to slow down and listen to my body. I take stock of all the places where I’m feeling my anxiety. Then I close my eyes, breathe deeply, and pray. I ask God to help calm my body and mind, and I reflect on the ways he cares for me even when I’m anxious.
If you’re feeling the weight of anxiety right now, take a few moments to check in with how you’re feeling and bring your worries to God. Where are you feeling your anxiety? Will you take time to pray for God to bring you peace? Here are 3 prayers to get you started:
Lord, it’s hard for me to feel anything but stressed and overwhelmed today. Show me that you see me and hear my anxious thoughts. Help me take the time I need to notice where I’m feeling tense or restless right now.
And I will always guide you and satisfy you with good things. I will keep you strong and well. You will be like a garden that has plenty of water, like a spring of water that never goes dry. — Isaiah 58:11
God, remind me that you love me and that you are in control of my life. Help me remember all the ways you’ve cared for and protected me.
Even if I go through the deepest darkness,
I will not be afraid, LORD,
for you are with me.
Your shepherd's rod and staff protect me.
You prepare a banquet for me,
where all my enemies can see me;
you welcome me as an honored guest
and fill my cup to the brim.
I know that your goodness and love will be with me all my life;
and your house will be my home as long as I live. Psalm 23:4-6
Lord, thank you for offering me rest. Show me how to take the time I need right now to continue resting in the knowledge of your love for me. Continue to give me peace as I go throughout my day, no matter what life throws my way. I know you are with me and you care for me better than anyone else ever could. Amen.
Don’t worry about anything, but pray about everything. With thankful hearts offer up your prayers and requests to God. Then, because you belong to Christ Jesus, God will bless you with peace that no one can completely understand. And this peace will control the way you think and feel. — Philippians 4:6-7
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