Anxiety can be debilitating sometimes. Those with diagnosed anxiety disorders might have medications or a number or coping strategies that help, while those who deal with anxiety sporadically might just plow through as best as possible until the situation is resolved.
But one of the most powerful anxiety-combatants at our disposal is easier than you might think: going to the Lord in prayer.
We can look to Scripture and see how Jesus reacted when He experienced anxiety over his impending execution. After the Last Supper, he took his closest friends and retreated to the Garden of Gethsemane, where he sank to His knees and poured out His heart to the Father. In His sorrow and overwhelm, He went to the source—the One who could fix everything.
As we’re told, “He fell to the ground and prayed that if possible the hour might pass from him. ‘Abba, Father,’ he said, ‘everything is possible for you. Take this cup from me. Yet not what I will, but what you will’” (Mark 14:35-36).
However, it can be difficult to pray when you are feeling distraught, lost, or flattened by fear. If you are experiencing severe or crippling anxiety, you might feel like you don’t have the words to utter about your feelings of overwhelm or chaos, or you don’t know where to begin.
Here, then, are six prayers you can pray when you are feeling anxious:
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1. A Prayer for Help
I come to You in humility, my mind racked and overburdened with the dread I feel deep in my soul. I don’t know where to start or how to express to You my feelings of angst and terror. But I can trust that You know my heart. As Psalm 139 reminds me, You created my inmost being and knit me together in my mother’s womb. You know every inch of my body, soul, and mind—even the things I don’t yet know myself. You care about me and love me, and I am grateful for this.
Help me, please, to trust in this truth. Help me to know You are never far away, and You have a plan for my life.
Take pity on me, and heal these tremors within my core. Steady my nerves, and return my breathing to a relaxed and peaceful rhythm.
Rescue me, now and always, and help me to rest in the peace that only You can provide.
In Your holy name I pray,
2. Bolster My Strength in You
My anxieties make me feel so weak and helpless, like I’m a piece of cotton floating off to sea. I sink or swim at the whim of forces beyond my control.
But in You, I know I am strong, for You are with me. Enable me to trust in the promises You made through the prophet Isaiah, that You are my God and will strengthen and help me. You will uphold me with Your righteous right hand.
Alone, I am nothing. With You, I am protected and shielded from the forces of evil.
As Psalm 23:4 reminds me, “Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.”
Strengthen me, Lord, in You. Help me shove aside all my inner turmoil and rest securely in Your strong hands. Help me know that even when I fear being swept off to sea, I’m held tight in your protective, loving arms.
In Your precious and mighty name, now and forever,
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3. A Prayer to Remember You’re Not Alone
I come to You now in the pit of isolation. Anxiety tries to tell me I’m alone, I’m frazzled, I’m chaotic, I’m falling apart. It tries to convince me I have no one, that no one understands or can even begin to help.
Yet You tell me over and over You are with me—even to the end of the age (Matthew 28:20). Your Holy Spirit takes flight in my soul, helping me soar over the rough spots and plodding alongside me through the quicksand that threatens to pull me under.
You are with me, now and forever. In You I have perfect rest.
Help me, Lord, to resist the voice of the enemy that tries to convince me otherwise. Help steady my spirit and trust in You each day. Help me know I am never alone, for You are with me.
4. When Physical Symptoms Threaten to Overwhelm
I’m frightened. My heart pounds and my head throbs. My very blood seems like it thrums within my veins. Fear traces a long slice down my spine. My mouth is dry, and my body tingles with nerves.
I am lost without You, and so I offer the only thing I can at this moment: I surrender. I bow down to You, Lord, and turn every inch of my being over to You—the only One who can save me.
Chase the dread from my bones, the angst from my spirit. Settle my soul, and press a full portion of peace upon me. Help me to breathe You in and know You are in command—You only.
Thank You, Lord God. I love you.
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5. When I Cannot Sleep
My brain and body are restless, pulsing with adrenaline. I want to run, fight, scream, tear the very hair from my head if it would help. Yet I’m frozen in place, sick with terror.
Yet You love me. Jesus says You care more for me than the birds of the air or the flowers of the field (Matthew 6:25-34).
Help me to remember the faithful words of the psalmist, who said, “Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, ‘He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust’” (Psalm 91:1-2).
I know this in my depths, Lord, so enable my heart to remember it now. Give me the trusting, faithful sleep of an infant asleep in its mother’s arms, protected and secure. Calm my fears and wrap me in safety, now and forever.
6. When I Cannot Trust
My heart is heavy from lack of faith and trust. Anxieties creep around like gnats, stealing my joy and hope in You.
Yet You are stronger than me and my weaknesses.
Help me be like the father who confessed to Jesus, “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief” (Mark 9:24). Right now, I swallow my pride and fall to my knees. I do believe, Lord. Help me overcome my lack of faith and trust in You. Help me feel You beside me fighting my battles for the glory of Your holy name.
Now and forever,
These are just a few prayers that might help get you started as you pray through your anxiety. May the Lord hear your prayer and restore peace—the peace that only God can bring—to your soul.
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