I am amazed at how many of the people I meet each week are truly stressed out. I am convinced that the time in which we live is more tumultuous than any generation before us.

 

From the constant low voltage stress of everyday living, to the occasional unavoidable crisis, you and I live in a pressure cooker world. The constant crush of demands on every side has the potential of robbing us of our joy and energy. 

 

All of which leads to horrible consequences – emotional breakdowns, tension in our marriages, physical ailments, and a myriad of psychological disorders.

 

For millions of Americans it has gotten so bad that they make it a regular habit to go to a therapist. Through that process they are seeking peace and relief from the stress that is ruling their lives.

 

Well, I go to a therapist too. Yes, you read that right. I talk to my therapist every day — many times in fact. And what is great is, he is always available and through my sessions with him, I have been empowered to live with greater peace and joy than I could have imagined possible.

 

My therapist's name is Jesus. And He wants to be your therapist too.

 

How? Through prayer. In fact, He has made it clear in His Word that He wants you and me to pray so we can experience the peace that can only come from Him. To be released from the stress that so easily depresses us and destroys the joy of life.

 

Take a look at Philippians 4:6-7. The promise of this verse is just awesome! “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”

 

There is a critical truth I want you to lock onto from this passage. If you do, it can revolutionize your life.

 

That truth is this: God has designed prayer as a stress reliever for your life. Read those verses again. God wants us to understand that prayer is not just about asking Him for things, but to unburden our hearts before Him. In fact, you will notice in these verses that there is no promise to answer your requests (though it is certainly implied), but there is a promise to grant you peace - His all-powerful peace - if you will talk to Him about your problems.

 

Not long ago I had a day when I got really bad news on three fronts. Not one or two, but three. It seemed devastating at first, but I remember deliberately going out and immediately talking to God. I unburdened my heart, told Him how I felt, then made my request about the situation.

 

And you know what? While nothing about my circumstances or problems changed immediately, I felt great. I will never forget, I slept well that night surrounded by God's peace!

 

I don't think it is an accident that you are reading this right now. You may be so filled with anxiety and stress that you are working on an ulcer. Perhaps you can't remember the last time you had a good night's sleep.

 

Whatever it is that has hold of your life and is stressing you out today, let me encourage you to go to Jesus. Unburden your heart. Put your requests before Him - and leave them there! You will find He is the greatest therapist in the world. And you will experience peace that goes far beyond any human comprehension.

 

I have more I would like to share with you on how prayer can impact your life-and some simple steps to truly effective prayer. These truths are contained in a booklet entitled, How to Pray. With your request for the How to Pray booklet, let me ask you to please let us know how we can pray for you. You will find a space to write your request on the enclosed reply card. No request is too small!

 

Are you feeling the stress of life today? Take time to unburden your heart before the Lord. Make Him your therapist... He is a great listener!

 

Bayless Conley pastors Cottonwood Christian Center, a thriving church located in Orange County, California. His television program, Answers with Bayless Conley, airs on television in over 100 nations worldwide. Visit his Web site at  www.answersbc.org. To order your copy of the "How to Pray" booklet, visit  www.oneplace.com/ministries/answers_with_bayless_conley/