busy

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

Related Reading

Analogies For Understanding Prayer

God is all-powerful, which means he owns all the “say-so” there is. But when he decided to populate the creation with free agents, he gave each human various units of “say-so.” [Click here for yesterday’s post on “say-so.”] We each have a certain amount of power to affect what comes to pass by our choices.…

Wake Up to God’s Presence

Jesus taught us to “remain” in him. We read this in John 15:4-5: Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me. “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you…

Does God Intervene?

The Open View of the future recognizes the vast influence of all the angelic and human wills God created, which, in turn, influences the various outcomes and circumstances in life. Therefore life is arbitrary because of the way the decisions made by an unfathomably vast multitude of free agents intersect with each other. How life…

Topics:

Bowing to the American Flag. Literally.

Kurt Willems shared this interesting item he found on Amazon. In the product description it admonishes us to: Submit yourself to the Prayer Bench and open up your life to receive more of God. Hmmmmmm. How about we just submit ourselves to God?

Theology and Imagination

The human brain is by far the most amazing, complex, and mysterious aspect of the physical world. Our brains continually interpret our world, and the way we interpret it is mostly determined by the way aspects of our world trigger our imagination. Our imagination encodes messages and creates feelings, and thus motivates behavior. And most…

Hearing and Responding to God: Part 3

We decided to change the title of this series to better reflect it’s content. Hope that’s not confusing. Greg continues his thoughts here on hearing when God speaks to us and being willing to respond even when we’re not completely certain. You can view parts one and two here and here.