Prayer Strategy for Emotional Rest
Are you facing a problem so big there is no escaping it through your go-to stress-busting methods? Exercise, meditation, journaling and prayer have all been therapeutic methods for me over the years. At times though, I have faced anxiety or pain so intense I cannot seem to ratchet it down. I cannot catch my breath or put the problem to rest even momentarily. It is all-consuming. As my mind races, I find it hard to even pray. Incredibly, in times like these, when we don’t know how or what to pray, the Holy Spirit intercedes for us.
The same God that created us, searches us and identifies the Holy Spirit living in us. The Spirit reciprocates by bringing our needs to God on our behalf.
When It’s Hard To Pray
I am immensely grateful that even when I don’t feel prayerful, I have a heavenly advocate voicing my needs to the Father! As meditation and mindfulness teach us, we are not our feelings. We are, however, able to choose how we react to our feelings. Even when we feel far from peace, gentleness, hope and joy, those gifts are still very accessible to us. How marvelous it is that the Spirit doesn’t just reveal our needs to God, but also reveals God to us by providing meaning to scripture and reminding us of what we’ve learned previously.
Here are two, fail-proof ways to solidify a wobbly spirit and access emotional rest.
Praying the Word of God Over Your Life
This method is affirming God’s word back to yourself. I love the way this tried and true method brings chaos back into order. God created our mind, body, spirit to work together. He can speak directly into our spirits in a way that commands attention.
In praying the word of God over your life, you’re taking the focus off the pain, not trying to solve the problem or determine a solution. Instead, you’re focusing all energy on the Comforter and his promises to us.
He is a relational god and even though he sees our hearts already, he delights in us sharing it all with him. There are also no surprises to him, so whatever we bring, we can do so with freedom!
Praying the Scriptures Back to God
My favorite way of praying the scriptures back to God is by journaling them in my own words. Claiming verses this way affirms my core belief; that we serve a personal God, who loved each of us so deeply and individually, he sent his only son to pay our ransom and die in our place. Just as with any type of journaling, writing scripture this way helps me to slow down, but with the added help of not having to think too much! This is a gift in itself; gaining emotional rest via a method that doesn’t add to the strain.
Below is a recent example of this strategy from my own prayer journal. The passages I read and based this prayer on are from Isaiah 40:10-11 and Isaiah 40:25-31.
“God, I see you come with power and know you rule mightily. Thank you for tending my family like a shepherd, gathering us in your arms and protecting us with your life. Please carry me close to your heart and gently lead me as I have young and I know they are affected by the trouble I face.
I praise you, for there is none like you! You have no equal. Nothing rivals you. You created the heavens and you created me and each sweet member of my family. You call the stars by name. You know our names and have numbered each hair on our heads. Because of your great power and mighty strength, none of the stars are missing.
You know our ways, God, and you are merciful to us. You are the everlasting God. You will not grow tired or weary! We cannot fathom your understanding.
Thank you for welcoming me to plug in to your strength when I am weary. You graciously lend your strength to me and amp up my power.
When we grow tired and weary and stumble and fall, we will be renewed by your strength. We will soar like eagles. We will run and not grow weary. We will walk and not be faint.
God, would you grant me your strength, power and understanding in this ongoing battle?
I thank you for lavishly extending all these gifts to me.”
Relying on the Spirit gave this ancient passage relevancy in my emotionally exhausted state! I hope you’ll continue exercising and journaling and talking to trusted friends and taking time to sit quietly and meditate not just in times of pain, but on the regular!
If you are wondering where to start when you don’t know how to pray, this guest post I wrote for Kindgom Bloggers provides a baseline for improving your daily prayer life.
While I hope you don’t ever face pain or anxiety, I know that is a naive wish. What I’ve learned to pray for instead, is that whatever you face, the good, the bad, the trials & triumphs, that it all draws you closer to God.
This prayer strategy of rewriting of scripture will definitely be at the top of my list for resetting my heart in the midst of overwhelming anxiety and pain. I hope this strategy will help you, too. Would you let me know if this helps you or if there is another method you use to move your anchor from the people and circumstances wrapped up in a problem straight to God’s heart and his promises?
I pray the following verses bring you comfort and that you are inspired to claim them through written prayer! Before you begin, invite the Holy Spirit to be your helper in your current challenge.
This prayer strategy for emotional rest article was originally here in May 2018. In June 2018, it was included in an array of bonus materials in Take a Walk Ministries’ “Strength in Him” devotional. This compilation of daily devotionals and bonus materials are perfect for fighting against feelings of emotional and mental weakness when things feel out of control. Practical methods for finding strength and releasing battles to God is supported with countless scripture references, broken down for deeper understanding. Through the 3-week study, readers are reminded though difficult things won’t be eliminated, we are equipped with the needed endurance so graciously provided by God who lends us his very own strength.
Thank you for this new prayer strategy. I’m definitely looking forward to trying this for myself. I too wrestle with anxiety and wondering if what I do is pleasing in God’s eyes.
I’m happy to share! It is so good to hear from you! I recently did a group study where rewriting scripture into prayer was part of a few assignments. While it wasn’t labeled as an anxiety or depression fighter, it definitely spoke to my heart that way! It was a great personal discovery and I hope it does help you, too. I think a lot of people wonder if God sees them and if so, what he thinks of them. I know for certain he loves each one of us equally, regardless of our choices or station in life. When we place belief in him, love him and love others, I am convinced he is pleased (Psalm 147:11, Matthew 22:37-39, John 13:34-35). He welcomes all of our questions and knows when we’re having difficulty. I don’t think this worries such a mighty God. It allows him opportunity to draw us near and grow us. Zephaniah 3:17 is a favorite verse for me when I question ALL the things I thought I knew. Stops me in my tracks every time!
I often struggle with anxiety. I found this article to be very real and very comforting. I intend to try rewriting scripture into personal prayers. Thank you for your insight.
Thank you for sharing! I’m glad this spoke to your heart and hope it helps!
Anxiety is not easy to deal with, especially with three kids, a house, school projects. Will be praying more and using your tips!
It is not easy! I’m so there with ya in the trenches of the routine. Hope this one helps you, too!
I am not much of a prayer person, but those are really useful tips. Thank you!
Glad you find it helpful! You could definitely use this method with any written language or song. Words have power! Thanks for reading!
What an awesome way to pray by personalizing the scripture into prayer. Thanks for sharing your wonderful prayer also.
You are welcome! Hope this helps you at some point, too!
I often need to take a step back when I feel bombarded and refocus my attention to where it should be. Thank you for sharing this!
You are so welcome, Jasmine! I hope this proves to be a helpful strategy for you!
Writing out scripture really does bring a sense of calm and peace, I find singing praise also to be very calming, often bringing me to tears first, but the release and peace afterwards is wonderful.
So true! I’m right there with you on tears then release + peace. And joy!! 💯
Thank you for sharing a very inspiring, powerful prayer. It reminds me just how deeply important it is to choose to magnify the Lord over every problem…no matter how big & overwhelming the problem may seem, we know God is still so much bigger- & we can rest assured that He loves us and is always with us. Thanks again for sharing. I look forward to reading more of your posts.
What a great idea for prayer. I recently read an article titled “the numinous power of writing,” which essentially argued that the very act of writing is spiritual. I love that idea, and I love that you live it out. Thanks for sharing.,
Sounds like a good read! I’ll see if I can find find it online. Love the idea & appreciate the encouragement! It’s definitely been grounding for me.