If you are a person of faith, prayer can be a meditative and centering relief.
This is especially true when you are feeling overwhelmed. Sometimes our anxiety and worries about everyday life can consume us and leave us feeling helpless and stuck. Anxiety can narrow our focus until all we see is negative, wrong, and bad.
Anxiety makes us believe that we can’t handle life and that we will never be able to handle life. We get caught in the all-or-nothing thinking and fortune telling that was mentioned in the last post.
When you feel sad, miserable, and overwhelmed, know that you are likely in an anxiety storm. In this place, it can be hard to do anything to help yourself feel better. You may not be able to pinpoint a specific reason for the way you are feeling. You will be tempted to try and figure it out in hopes that knowing what is causing you distress will help you find a way out. When nothing makes sense and you don’t know what to do you can use this prayer to help you through it.
A Prayer For When You Are Overwhelmed
“God I’m miserable. I feel so uncomfortable. My sadness and worry has taken over me. I don’t know what to do. I am in pain right now and I want to trust you to care for me. Remind me of who I am in you. Remind me of who you are. You are with me in my sadness and you can handle what I cannot.”
Say these words slowly and with intention. It’s ok if you don’t connect with them. Change them up and make them yours. Follow it up with a few minutes of deep breathing or a single deep breath if that’s all you can muster up.
These words are not magical and they don’t provide an immediate cure. What they will do is help you start to shift your focus.
Tips for Praying When You are Overwhelmed
1- Don’t reduce your pain and suffering in prayer. Say it like it is. God can handle it. Use ALL the words you need to use to express it.
2- Go off script. Many Christians are taught a formula for praying. It may be something like adoration, confession, prayers for others, prayers for self, or gratitude. Do you have a script when you talk to your spouse or friends? Let your prayer be conversational instead of scripted.
3- You don’t always have to use words. Sometimes prayer can be a moment of turning your thoughts to God and simply breathing and being present in the moment. Sometimes prayer is voiced through tears or sobs.
4- You don’t have to pray alone. If you can’t find the words or don’t have the energy, ask someone else to pray with you or on your behalf.
5- Take your guilt and shame with you into prayer. You may have a list of reasons you can’t or shouldn’t pray. Recognize that this is guilt and shame speaking. These are the exact wounds that prayer can heal. Take them with you.
One important point I wish to make about prayer is that I don’t subscribe to the idea that Christians should “just pray about it” and expect their overwhelming thoughts and feelings to go away. I believe that prayer is powerful and effective. I also believe that prayer combined with therapy, medication, and other self-care activities is as full of faith as prayer alone.
If Prayer Is Not Your Thing
You may not be the praying kind. Or, the idea of a higher power may not resonate with you. If so, I would still recommend coming up with something that you can recite to yourself that is true and meaningful. Combine this with some deep breathing. Doing so can help shift your focus away from your overwhelming thoughts and feelings.
Prayer and deep breathing help to bring us back to the present moment while anxiety is begging to keep us focused on the future. Often, the distress and worry we are feeling are all about some imagined future scenario or outcome. But right here, in this present moment, we are safe and cared for.
Begin Working With An Online Christian Counselor in Virginia
- Start managing your anxiety symptoms in a healthier way
Other Services Offered with Evercare Counseling
Christian counseling isn’t the only service I offer. I understand there are a variety of mental health services you may need support with. I offer a variety of mental health services to support adults across the state of Virginia with online therapy. We are happy to offer support to individuals experiencing OCD. In addition, we are happy to offer depression treatment, ERP therapy, and more. Please feel free to read our blog or common questions to learn more helpful info!