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A Prayer against an Anxious Heart and Mind - Your Daily Prayer - April 20

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A Prayer against an Anxious Heart and Mind
By Chelsey DeMatteis

"For it is you who light my lamp; the LORD, my God lightens my darkness." - Psalm 18:28

I was out running errands when I felt the pang of anxiety strike. It was as if the ocean began to swell and the waves were going to swallow me. How could one thought from the enemy lead to a full on onslaught of my mind? Does this sound familiar to you, too? I wish I wasn’t in good company with what I felt in that moment and what I was going to feel for the several weeks that followed after. But, the reality is, we have all been here. Most likely not the same thoughts, but most of us can relate to those feelings. 

As I made my way through the fog, and at times, crippling fear, I found myself pleading with God to remove what I was feeling. I prayed that he would reveal where and why the anxious thought entered to begin with. To my surprise, though it shouldn’t be a surprise, God answered in very miraculous ways.

I’m not one to pray 'Gideon prayers' for lack of a better term. However, I was desperate for answers in the same way Gideon was. As I pleaded with God and asked Him to reveal what was going on in my mind and in my heart, He revealed pains of my past that made me susceptible to this type of anxiety. He then showed me that out of the sensitivity of my heart, I had built up walls due to fears surrounding topics that had nothing to do with myself.

The Lord showed me, out of the goodness of his heart, that he would use this trial to not only draw me closer to him but also reveal areas of my life that he needed to tend to. Anxiety is one of those things (as painful and debilitating as it often is) that God turns to good as He reveals areas we need to work through and shows us how to draw closer to him.

I mentioned Gideon at the beginning of this devotion, and there’s a good reason for that; my hope is that this encourages you to pray those prayers in the times that you desperately need to see the Lord. 

Gideon’s prayer: ”Gideon prayed to God, “I know that you promised to help me rescue Israel, but I need proof. Tonight, I'll spread a sheep skin on the stone floor of that threshing place over there. If you really will help me rescue Israel, then tomorrow morning let there be dew on the skin, but let the stone floor be dry.” And that's just what happened. Early the next morning, Gideon got up and checked the sheepskin. He squeezed out enough water to fill a bowl. But Gideon prayed to God again. “Don't be angry with me,” Gideon said. “Let me try this just one more time, so I'll really be sure you'll help me. Only this time, let the skin be dry and the stone floor be wet.” That night, God made the stone floor wet with dew, but he kept the sheep skin dry.“ - Judges 6:36-40

As you pray those bold prayers, understand that God may not answer you in the way you were hoping, but He will answer you in the way that draws you closer to Him. I began to feel the shift in my spirit as the anxiety lifted, and God so sweetly ministered to my heart, with Psalm 18:28, "For it is you who light my lamp; the LORD, my God lightens my darkness."

Let this truth soak into the deepest parts of your heart. He is the light in our lives, and He will lighten the darkness we walk through. It would be outside of His character not to do so, and we know that we can trust in who God says He is.

Let's pray:

Lord, I thank you so much for your willingness to walk with us in the darkest seasons. You never shy away from wanting to teach us more about who you are, and what you desire for our life. I thank you for being the light of my life and being the light, that shows me where to walk and how to live. I thank you for this relationship with you. I love you, Father. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Photo credit: Unsplash/Joice Kelly

Chelsey is the voice behind the Living with Less Podcast and author of the 52-week devotional More of Him, Less of Me: Living a Christ-centered Life in a Me-centered World. She writes devotions for Lifeway Women's Journey Magazine, Crosswalk.com, and iBelieve.com. She also writes Bible reading plans for the YouVersion Bible App. Chelsey lives in Ohio with her husband and two children. You can connect with her on Instagram @chelseydematteis and at her website ChelseyDeMatteis.com.

Teach Us to Pray is a FREE prayer podcast hosted by iBelieve writer Christina Patterson. Each week, she gives you practical, real-life tips on how to grow your faith and relationship with God through the power of prayer. To listen to her episode on What to Pray in the Morning for a Worry-Free Day, click below!

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Visit iBelieve.com for more inspiring prayer content.

Originally published Saturday, 20 April 2024.