Stress is inevitable, but God has given us tools in the Bible to help us deal with daily pressures. Consider these three prayerful antidotes to anxiety from author and evangelist Clayton King.
STRESS SOLUTION #1: FOCUS ON WHAT’S RIGHT IN FRONT OF YOU
When you’re stressed out with busyness and to-do lists, it’s so easy to miss something God may be trying to teach you. One small spiritual discipline that has a big positive impact on your life is learning to stop, just for a moment, and pay attention to what’s right in front of you. Being present, noticing your surroundings, paying attention to people and situations—these are the practices God often uses to breakthrough to us, to remind us that he loves us, to nudge us toward an action he wants us to take or a path he wants us to follow. Be encouraged by Proverbs 24:32—“I applied my heart to what I observed and learned a lesson from what I saw.” Wisdom and learning are all around you. Be still and quiet long enough to see it and embrace it as a gift of God.
God, I ask for your assistance as I pay attention to what is right in front of me. Help me focus on what’s happening now instead of trying to figure out everything that’s ahead of me.
STRESS SOLUTION #2: RELEASE PRESSURE BY RUNNING TO GOD
My life, since I was a teenager, has been filled with travel. I’m constantly packing a bag, catching a plane, and watching the clock. Stress is a perpetual companion unless I have a release valve that I can turn to lessen some of the anxiety that comes with being on the go so often. I’ve found that a short, simple pause where I say a quick prayer out loud to God can make all the difference in my attitude. This practice really works. Proverbs18:10 says, “The name of the Lord is a fortified tower; the righteous run to it and are safe.” There is safety and peace to be found in running to God during times of pressure or conflict. Just whispering a short prayer when you’re feeling anxious can usher real peace into a challenging and busy day.
I know that you are always with me, Lord. You’re right beside me no matter what I face, and I thank you for the comfort your presence brings me.
STRESS SOLUTION #3: WAGE WAR ON WORRY
it’s normal to worry about things we can’t control. I sometimes struggle with stressing over money, my family, the future, and people that I love. But even though we tend to worry like this, as the last several years have proven to all of us, we really can’t control anything anyway. Jesus encourages us to wage war on worry. In Matthew 6:25 he says, “I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes?” The Galileans Jesus was talking to lived on the edge of poverty, so if Jesus tells them they don’t have to worry about these things, how much more faith should we have that God will care for us?
Today I choose to wage war on worry by trusting in your faithful care and provision for my life, God.I know you love me and will take care of me.
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