I read a wonderful headline at christianitytoday.com. It said this: “Coronavirus Searches Lead Millions to Hear about Jesus.” The first line of this March 2020 article was: “Millions of worried people who have turned to Google with their anxiety over COVID-19 have ended up connecting with Christian evangelists in their search results – leading to a spike in online conversions in March.” As I read the article, it described many people all over the world searching for a prayer to stop worrying. They wanted quick relief, but came away, in so many instances, with a changed life. A permanent solution.
Are you also being harassed by worry and fear? I know that is so hard. Such a tormented state of mind is very painful but it is fixable. It is good to talk about faith in the face of fear.
What Does God Say About Worry & Anxiety?
Although the article was written a year ago when the lockdown responses and fear of illness and death first soared, people seeking and clicking on articles about hope, peace, and prayer, etc. have not stopped. One young man is quoted in the article as saying, “I’m not really a religious person, but I don’t know who else to turn to but God.”
He is right. Connecting to God is the answer. Therefore, It’s good to know what God’s heart is about people worrying. Does He care? Does He have words of comfort and steps for us to take to decrease or eliminate worry?
Here are two verses from the Bible (among so many) that reveal God’s soothing heart towards our anxious minds:
Jesus said, “Come to me all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” Matthew 11:28-29 NIV
Again, Jesus said, “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.” John 14:27 NIV
Can Praying Help Me With Anxiety?
As I said, there are so many verses about God bringing peace, taking care of us, supplying our needs. You can certainly google “Bible verses on anxiety,” and find a wealth of verses. But, what about prayer to stop worrying? Will prayer bring relief and peace when your mind is burdened by fear? The answer is, “Absolutely yes!!”
In an article published Feb. 12, 2019 on Fox News, called “The Power of Prayer: Science Proves it Works, Has Positive Physiological Effects,” author Kent Ingle wrote about the effect of prayer. He said prayer’s effect is to “align the mind, soul, and physical aspects of a person to lower cortisol levels, improve oxygen utilization, and confer numerous other psychological benefits.”
In essence, prayer calms a person down and restores their peace – it can be measured.
We had a friend, a doctor, who did a study on prayer done for other people, for heart patients. Through controlled measurements, he found that the group of patients who received prayer, even at a distance, unknown to them, did markedly better than those who had no prayer.
But, for those who are deeply worried and distressed, the question is specifically, “Will I feel better, calmer, and stay that way if I pray? What do I say? And, how can I manage to pray when I feel so wound up, tense, and overwhelmed?
How Do I Pray Against Fear and Anxiety?
There is a classic passage from the Bible that is well-known to many Christians. It is Philippians 4:4-7 (NIV), a guide to creating prayer to stop worrying, and it says this:
Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, 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 your minds in Christ Jesus.
I know the first thing worried people may say is, “Rejoice in the Lord! How? And, do not be anxious about anything? That’s what I want to do. But how?”
Prayer to Stop Worrying Created from Bible Verses
Let’s pick these words apart in order for them to be helpful.
“Rejoice in the Lord.” You might not be able to rejoice in your doctor’s diagnosis, or that fear-filled stack of past due bills. But, what the passage encourages is putting your mind on God. Think about His goodness and hope in it. That’s rejoicing. Sing worship songs. Read favorite Bible verses. Say them back to God. That’s rejoicing in Him.
Secondly, the passage says, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation…” What is being taught is that in every single problem or need, stop, and with “prayer and petition,” and with being grateful for what you do have, talk to God. Tell Him what’s going on, what is scaring you, and ask Him about the “way out.”
What is promised in this passage is that something called “the peace of God that transcends all human understanding,” will descend upon you and guard your heart and mind. It is a promised effect of praying about your needs to God and leaving them with Him.
Can God Give Me Lasting Peace?
God can give us lasting peace through having a constant relationship with Him. Even when all hell breaks out against us, if we truly are in relationship with God, we can weather our storms.
My husband’s health has been under a cloud for 13 years. There was a moment a couple of years ago that I was certain he was dying. His blood pressure had dropped to nearly nothing and he was in the ICU. I had to go home for a while. Standing in the parking lot, I simply prayed this prayer: “No matter what happens, Lord, I am yours and I will not quit living for You.”
Though I was frightened and sad, I was calm, determined, and able to function. Why? Because of God. His supernatural strength and presence was in me and around me. Every one of us can have that through Jesus Christ.
The peace and hope that nothing can shake come from a relationship with God through Jesus His Son. To have this relationship, we simply need to ask for it: “Jesus, come into my life. Lead me. Forgive me for my sins. Teach me how to follow You, to pray, and to live a life that honors You. Fill me with Your Holy Spirit.” Amen.
Peace Comes Into Our Life Through Jesus
There are “classic” stories of Jesus being with the disciples on the Sea of Galilee during storms. One of these is told in Mark 4:35-41. In this particular story, a “furious squall came up” (v. 37) and “the waves broke over the boat so that it was nearly swamped.”
Jesus, unlike the disciples, was sleeping restfully in the boat. The disciples were worried, anxious, terrified. They shook Him awake saying, “Don’t you care if we drown?”
He did care about them. And He does care about us – every worry, every struggle. Jesus “got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, “Quiet! Be still!” Then the wind died down and it was completely calm. (v. 39)
Now, the disciples were terrified because of Him and His mind-boggling power. “Who is this? Even the wind and the waves obey him!” (v. 41) Even the wind and the waves obey Jesus. He can help us in the most awful of situations. He has the authority to calm our storms. We don’t need to be afraid, but rather we need to trust.
Below is a prayer to stop worrying:
If you would like to receive highlighted posts, other faith building materials, and occasional free resources straight to your inbox, please scroll down and sign up for our email list! I would love to share more with you! Blessings!