How to Pray When You are Anxious

Originally published Thursday, 07 January 2016.

I am my beloved’s, And his desire is for me.

Song of Solomon 7:10 (NASB)

When I first read about this prayer in in a book by Brennan Manning called “The Furious Longing of God” I thought it sounds too simple but I’ll try it anyway. 

I can’t remember the exact words Manning wrote but I remember reading something along the lines of, 'if you pray this prayer every day for one month it will change you.'

This prayer has changed me.

(I’m not going to go into the background of the prayer but if you’re interested you can read that in my previous post, When you feel unloved by God, try this)

This 5 word prayer has become my "go-to" prayer anytime I feel anxious.

Driving to the oncologist to get scan results: Abba, I belong to you.

Waking in the middle of the night with concerns about work or finances: Abba, I belong to you.

Worrying over a relationship that is struggling to work: Abba, I belong to you.

Praying for a friend: Abba, [insert name of friend] belongs to you.

As I pray it I find myself remembering who God is:

Big, mighty, good, merciful, loving, Abba.

As I pray it I find myself surrendering to who God is:

In control, infinite, beyond comprehension, seeking my good.

As I pray it I find myself believing who I am: 

Human, living in forgiveness, valuablebeloved, desired by God.

Ponder: Are you willing to try praying this prayer everyday for a month and see if it helps your anxiety? 

Prayer: I exhale and inhale when I pray it like Brennan Manning suggested, but I’ve found my own rhythm: 

Inhale: Abba

Exhale: I belong

Inhale: to 

Exhale: you

I find the combination of breathing and words calm me. This makes sense to me because none of us are only physical or only spiritual. We are both, so why not use both to find peace when I'm anxious?

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