3 Prayers for Anxiety When Life Is Uncertain
3 Prayers for Anxiety When Life Is Uncertain
Amber Ginter iBelieve Contributing Writer
Anxiety will rob us of our peace, joy, and confidence in the future that the Lord has planned. But in learning to submit our hearts, asking Him to fight, and declaring His power over our humbleness, we can restore those things in the face of any uncertainty.
For as long as I can remember, I have had an immense fear of the unknown. When that uncertainty raged into anxiety by adolescence, I felt paralyzed with how to move on and live a life of normalcy. More often than not, I felt crippled by the heaviness of my shoulders and the aching in my heart I couldn't seem to shake.
In the scriptures, I am reminded by countless individuals that also faced this dreaded terror, otherwise known as stress, fear, and concern for one's wellbeing.
King David, a man after God's heart, for instance, was mighty, but his selfish pride led to his greatest downfall and the Psalms of emotional lows and highs.
Moses, called by God to set the Israelites free, questioned the preparation of his calling, saying, Lord, send anyone else but me!
Job, one of the most righteous men in the Bible, faced grave turmoil and physical anguish, trusting God that through his moments of pain, the Lord had a purpose and plan that he could not see.
In each of these three men's lives, I believe that we can learn and apply three prayers for anxiety when life is anything but promised and far from certain.
Photo Credit: © Pexels/Alex Green
1. Lord, Search Me and Know My Anxious Heart
In Psalm 51 and 139, David cries out to God in urgency for the sin he has committed with Bathsheba. Within the first six verses, it is evident that David is overwhelmed to the point of grief with his inherent evils in confession to the Lord. Sleeping with Bathsheba, killing her husband Uriah, and attempting to cover up the lies, he longs for the Lord to restore him.
"O Lord, you have searched me and known me! You know when I sit down and when I rise up; you discern my thoughts from afar. You search out my path and my lying down and are acquainted with all my ways. Even before a word is on my tongue, behold, O Lord, you know it altogether. You hem me in, behind and before, and lay your hand upon me. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high; I cannot attain it.” (Psalm 139:1-6)
Although David had sinned and was anxious because of this, I realize that not all anxiety is self-induced. Many times when we're filled with worrisome thoughts, it is not of our doing, but the enemies. Nevertheless, praying in acknowledgment that the Lord knows everything about us can bring comfort to weak and weary souls.
When we recognize that God is in control of all things, we become less fearful of unpredictable circumstances. Asking God to search our hearts amid these uncomfortable places recognizes a posture of submission, humbling our stances before Him.
"Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” (Psalm 139:23-24)
The TPT Version puts our prayer like this: "God, I invite your searching gaze into my heart. Examine me through and through; find out everything that may be hidden within me. Put me to the test and sift through all my anxious cares. See if there is any path of pain I'm walking on, and lead me back to your glorious, everlasting ways—the path that brings me back to you” (Psalm 139: 23-24).
2. Lord, Fight For Me
Once we have humbled ourselves before the Lord and asked Him to search and test our hearts, it's then time to believe that God will strengthen us when we walk through stirring waters and never call us towards something that He'd abandon us to pursue on our own.
In Exodus, God calls Moses to Egypt to set the Israelites free from 430 years of slavery and bondage to Pharaoh. However, lacking self-confidence, bravery, and obedience, Moses begs God to send anyone else even after God's proven Himself faithful time and time again.
What began in Genesis 3 as a doubting of his character (But Moses said to God, "Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the Israelites out of Egypt?"), quickly turned into an excuse by chapter 4. (But Moses said, "Pardon your servant, Lord. Please send someone else.")
Instead of trusting God to use him, Moses allowed his anxiety of an unforeseen location to rob him of His strength and salvation in the one, true vocation God set for his life.
While Moses initially doubted how the Lord's power could work through him, this is the same Moses who tells the Israelite's in their anxiety by chapter 14 to allow the Lord to fight for them.
"Moses answered the people, "Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the Lord will bring you today. The Egyptians you see today you will never see again. The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.” (Exodus 14:13,14)
Today, the same goes for us in the unexpected battles we face and the unprecedented places we find ourselves in bondage to, looking for a way out to survive. Rather than questioning the authority of an almighty God, ask Him to fight for you right where you are. Remember, we need only to be still.
3. Our God Reigns
Finally, once we surrender our anxiety to the Lord, ask Him to purify our hearts, and fight for us where we are, it's then time to pray that His Will be done and reign over anything we are facing.
After suffering from illnesses like anxiety and depression for an extended period, our mental states as humans begin to falter and fade away. It becomes all too easy to rest in the unsaid mantra that "this is the way it is, and I'm never going to get better." And as a victim myself, I've listened to this lie time and time again, landing myself in the land of self-pity, shame, and defeat.
However, Job is a man I think of often when I am pressed on every side by crippling thoughts and anxious ways. As a righteous man, he had every reason to be upset when he lost everything. We learn that he was indeed faultless, though his three friends begged to differ. In questioning God, Job declared throughout the book that he was confused about why havoc would strike. He asked many intriguing suppositions that each of us probably think of daily but never have the guts to ask.
Yet, by the end of the chapter, Job notes that our God reigns, far above the calamities and uncertainties he's questioned.
"I know that you can do all things; no purpose of yours can be thwarted. You asked, 'Who is this that obscures my plans without knowledge?' Surely I spoke of things I did not understand, things too wonderful for me to know. "You said, 'Listen now, and I will speak; I will question you, and you shall answer me.' My ears had heard of you but now my eyes have seen you. Therefore I despise myself and repent in dust and ashes.” (Job 42:1-6)
In repentance, a holy man asked questions but humbled himself before the power and might of a God who he recognized knew better than he did. He shouted, "my God reigns," and confessed his arrogance to try and foresee the foretastes that the Lord alone directs.
At the end of the day, anxiety will rob us of our peace, joy, and confidence in the future that the Lord has planned. However, in learning to submit our hearts, asking Him to fight, and declaring His power over our humbleness, we can restore those things in the face of any unsettling ambiguity.
Design Credit: © SWN/Sarah Martin
Amber Ginter is an aspiring 25-year-old writer that currently works as an English teacher in Chillicothe, Ohio, and has a passionate desire to impact the world for Jesus through her love for writing, aesthetics, health/fitness, and ministry. Hoping to become a full-time freelancer, Amber seeks to proclaim her love for Christ and the Gospel through her writing, aesthetic ministry team (Aisthitikós Joy Ministries), and volunteer roles. She is also the author of The Story I've Never Told, which is currently in the publishing process. Amber has freelanced for Daughter of Delight, Kallos, Anchored Passion, Crosswalk, No Small Life, Darling Magazine, Called Christian Writers, Southern Ohio Today News, The Rebelution, Ohio Christian University, and The Circleville Herald. Visit her website at amberginter.com.
This article is part of our larger Prayer resource meant to inspire and encourage your prayer life when you face uncertain times. Remember, the Holy Spirit intercedes for us and God knows your heart even if you can't find the words to pray.
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