By Stephen Altrogge
As one who has struggled with an anxiety disorder for most of my adult life, I know just how important prayer for anxiety is.
And in addition to struggling with an anxiety disorder, I also regularly find myself in the midst of circumstances that tempt me to feel anxious. Whether it’s the stress of upcoming bills or the health of my children or the pressure of being self-employed, I find myself constantly tempted to be anxious.
I need prayer for anxiety.
But here’s the thing…
When I’m being squeezed by the vice grip of anxiety, it’s really hard for me to pray. My brain is going in 10,000 different directions and I often don’t even know what to pray.
Can you relate?
Here’s the good news though. God always hears our prayers for anxiety. He longs to help us when we’re anxious. He wants to meet us right where we are and give us the peace that passes understanding.
As Paul said in Philippians 4:6, “…do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.”
So what sorts of prayers for anxiety should we pray? Here are five.
Prayer For Anxiety #1: Trusting God’s Good Character
Father, I don’t understand why you’re allowing me to go through these challenging circumstances. I don’t know why you’ve allowed me to be pressed on every side and overwhelmed by the waves of life.
But what I do know is that you are good and loving and faithful. I know that nothing can get to me without first going through you. And I know that you are working all things together for my good and your glory.
As it says in Romans 8:28, “And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.”
So even though I may not understand why I’m experiencing these difficult trials, I know that you are walking with me every step of the way. So I lift this prayer for anxiety to you. I trust in you to sustain me even when I can’t sustain myself. You are faithful even when I am faithless.
Prayer For Anxiety #2: Trusting God’s Good Promises
Father, even though I may not be able to see how any good can come out of these circumstances, you have promised to never stop doing good to me.
As you say in Psalm 23:6, “Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever.”
In Psalm 84:11 you say, “No good thing does he withhold from those who walk uprightly.”
As I lift this prayer for anxiety, I believe this promise. I believe that you will not withhold a single good thing from me. If something is good for me, you’ll give it to me. If it’s not, you’ll withhold it.
I believe that right now your goodness and mercy are pursuing me. Even though I may feel anxious, I can’t escape your goodness and mercy. You are pouring out blessings on me right now, and nothing can stop your good promises from being fulfilled.
Even though I’m currently feeling anxious, I’m choosing to put my trust in your word over my feelings. I’m choosing to believe your promises rather than what my eyes can see.
Prayer For Anxiety #3: Trusting God’s Good Provision
Lord, in Philippians 4:19 you say, “And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.”
I thank you that you are going to meet my every need. I may not be able to see how you’re going to meet my every need, but I’m choosing to believe your promise.
I thank you that you are going to supply my needs out of your bounteous riches in Christ. I don’t have to twist your arm in order to get you to meet my needs. Just as I love to provide for my children, you absolutely love to provide abundantly for your children.
So I’m asking you to provide for me, confident that you will. Confident that you will do great things in response to my prayers.
As I lift this prayer for anxiety, I remember the words of Charles Spurgeon, who said:
It does not matter how heavy troubles are if you can cast them on the Lord. The heavier they are, so much the better, for the more you have gotten rid of, and the more there is laid on the rock.
Father, I’m casting all my cares on you because I know you care for me.
Prayer For Anxiety #4: Trusting God’s Fatherly Care
Lord, your word tells me that you care for me as a Father cares for his children. I am your child and I thank you that you love me with a deep, overwhelming, never ceasing, overpowering love.
As you say in Matthew 7:11, “If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him!”
Father, even I know how to give good gifts to children, and I’m a sinful human. You are perfectly good and loving, and I thank you that you will give me good, sweet gifts. I thank you that your heart beats with Fatherly affection for me. I thank you that nothing can separate me from your intense, Fatherly love.
As it says in Romans 8:35, “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword?”
Because nothing can separate me from your love, I can trust you completely. I can throw all my weight on you. I can hope in you fully. I offer this prayer for anxiety, knowing that you are my good, gracious, heavenly Father.
Prayer For Anxiety #5: Trusting God To Carry Every Burden
Lord, in 1 Peter 5:6-7 you say, “Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.”
Father, I humbly offer this prayer for anxiety up to you, casting all my anxieties upon you. The simple truth is that I am not able to carry all these burdens on my own. I don’t have the strength or the wisdom to successfully navigate these challenging circumstances.
And so I am casting every burden, big and small upon you. I am clinging to you in the midst of the storm, holding fast to you. Though I may not be able to carry all my burdens, you absolutely can.
Oh What Needless Pain We Bear
If you’re struggling with anxiety, run to God constantly in prayer. Don’t let anxiety dominate your life. Don’t let worry rule you. Take all your worries and fears and struggles to God and lay them at his feet.
I can’t help but be reminded of the hymn, “What A Friend We Have In Jesus“:
What a privilege to carry everything to God in prayer!
O what peace we often forfeit, O what needless pain we bear,
All because we do not carry everything to God in prayer!
Don’t forfeit your peace or bear needless pain. Lift up your prayer for anxiety to God and let him bear your burdens.
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Stephen Altrogge is a pastor at Sovereign Grace Church of Indiana, Pennsylvania, where he preaches, leads worship, and works with youth. Stephen is married to Jen and has two little girls. He can be found blogging at www.theblazingcenter.com.