Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. –Philippians 4:6-7
Anxiety is real. In fact, it is so prevalent it has its own medical classification and a myriad of medications to help lessen its often-paralyzing effects. While a little anxiety is common — like when a deadline is looming at work or school, or when you’re signing that loan for your first house — anxiety that lingers or that surrounds every decision is a sign that something deeper is occurring.
At the core of anxiety is worry. But read what Jesus said about worry, “Do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes?” Matthew 6:25
I find it interesting that despite the Scriptural challenges, even those including our Savior’s words that we ought not worry, many of us still find anxiety to be a daily companion. Still, we are in good company with our fellow believers over the centuries.
The early Christian Fathers used what is called a “breathe prayer” to help those experiencing anxiety. We use it in our ministry today. It is simply this: as you inhale, say the words “Jesus Christ is Lord” to yourself, then, as you exhale say the words, “Lord, be my peace.” Repeat this pattern until you feel your anxiety lessen or go away completely.
Today, if you are feeling anxious, give this “breathe prayer” a try, and may God’s peace be with you.
Remember, this is prayer, not something you need to fear. It is rooted in Scripture and helps us to focus on the presence of Christ with us.
Matthew 6:25-34; Psalm 19:14; Isaiah 26:3