Prayer When You’re Anxious
The following is adapted from a prayer exercise that Greg wrote for his book, Present Perfect. If you’re feeling anxious today (or even if you’re not anxious at all) we encourage you to spend a little time with it.
As you read this, remind yourself that the only thing that ultimately matters is that you are submerged in God’s love right now. Remain mindful of the fact that the perfect love that God expressed by becoming a human and dying on a cross to redeem you engulfs you, right now. Remind yourself that you could not be more loved than you are this moment. You could not have more worth than you have at this moment.
Remain mindful of the truth that this is not because of anything you have achieved or ever will achieve in your life. It’s because of who God is and who you are, as defined by Calvary. Remind yourself that this perfect love never began, never ends, is never threatened, and never wavers. As you breathe your next breath, let it represent your decision to breathe in God’s loving presence and all these truths associated with it.
As you breathe in God’s love, exhale everything else. Because God loves you, trust that if there’s anything you truly need God will give it to you, just as Jesus taught us (Matt 6:32-33). Relinquish (exhale) all your possessions, achievements, reputation, future aspirations, health, beauty, relationships, and anything else that could possible be a false source of worth and significance to you.
As you relax in the sufficiency of God’s presence, see all the things that you exhaled evaporate in the light of God’s ever-present love, like a morning mist disappearing with the first rays of the rising sun.
Notice what happened to any anxiety you may have. When you are truly present, breathing in God’s love and exhaling everything else, you may find that your anxiety is lifting, even disappearing.
When God’s love becomes our sole source of Life moment-by-moment, we will have no regrets about the past and no fears about the future, for we are fulfilled and are trusting God in the present. We learn from our past mistakes, of course, and make ordinary plans about the future. But anchored in the fullness of God’s abundant Life right now, we’re freed from the pointless, idolatrous exercise of judging our past or stressing out over the future.
—adapted from Present Perfect, pages 69-71
Image by Eutah Mizushima