Even though we trust & believe God, we can still feel restless with thoughts tossing to & fro. At anytime & worries can be bubbling just beneath the surface.
Especially in days like these. Anxiety brings worst case scenarios to the front of our mind. Internal conversations with ourselves can lead to symptoms of stress. Spinning & spiralling thoughts. We get so wound up that sleep eludes us.
‘Many of us find our thoughts circling around problematic circumstances or people. For others of us, anxiety has become the soundtrack of our day, we hardly notice it playing in the background of every scene.’
But we can stop in the middle of our random, haphazard thoughts to pause & pray.
We need to ‘help create space for your soul to breathe so that you can discern your next right thing in love as we live together in Christ’s kingdom and bring the world along.’(Emily P Freeman)
At the start of each lectio365 devotional we pray these words:
‘As I enter prayer now, I pause to be still; to breathe slowly; to re-centre my scattered senses upon the presence of God.’
‘In stillness we cease our activity; in silence we stop our talking’ (Tony Horsfall)
When we are still we can hear God’s gentle whisper:
‘What heights of love, what depths of peace
When fears are stilled, when strivings cease
My Comforter, my All in All
Here in the love of Christ I stand.’
Read the verses below slowly. Hold space for silence.
Repeat allowing the truth to soak in. Write out,print out or underline the verses.
‘Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God.’
(Psalms 42:11 NIV)
‘When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought me joy.’
(Psalms 94:19 NIV)
‘Don’t fret or worry.
Instead of worrying, pray.
Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns.
Before you know it,
a sense of God’s wholeness,
everything coming together for good,
will come and settle you down.
It’s wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life.’
(Philippians 4:6-7 MSG)
When God renews our mind, His presence & peace displaces worry.
Draw near to God & He will draw near to you. (James 4:8)
Repeat- re-read those verses again
Reflect & Respond
‘Living reflectively provides opportunities during our day for a closer look at things,at people, at ourselves & at God.The faster the pace of life, though, the more we will miss those opportunities.’
Reframe the words of the verses into prayer.
‘The truth is that the God who is creator & sovereign over the universe & the God who conquered sin & death is the same God who wants to be with you in your pain, doubt, shame & other circumstances’
In these days of distancing & shielding, God is still our Shield:
‘But you, O Lord, are a shield around me; you are my glory, the one who holds my head high.’
(Psalms 3:3 NLT)
So, ‘Don’t try to handle your anxiety. Bring your anxiety into the presence of Christ’
(Emily P Freeman)