Overcoming Anxiety, Can Prayer Help? - 10 Sep 2020

This is part 1 of 2 posts where we will explore inviting God into our anxious thoughts and feelings.

Anxiety is one of the most commonly experienced mental health problems in the UK. With a drastic change in the way we live our lives over the last 6 months, the BBC reports anxiety has become even more prevalent. 

 How can we invite God into our worries and anxieties? 

'Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.' Philippians 4:6 

There are many ways to pray that help us overcome worry. One great way to calm our minds and bring God into the centre of our troubles is through Breath Prayer.  

What is a Breath Prayer?  

In breath prayer we choose a short, simple word or sentence that focusses us on God and can be said in one breath. When you’ve decided on your prayer you can repeat it, breathing deeply in quiet moments throughout the day.  

Try It: Breath Prayer. 

  1. Wherever you are, sit still, consciously relax your body and practice breathing deeply 
  2. As you breathe in, invite the Holy Spirit to fill you afresh 
  3. Ask God for a word or phrase you can utter as you breathe out
  4. This word might be “Jesus”, “Abba”, it may be a biblical phrase like “Be still” or a simple expression of “I love you” to God 
  5. Don’t worry if your mind takes time to become quiet. Continue to breathe deeply and as you exhale, think or speak your breath prayer 
  6. Repeat this for 2 minutes and try it at different intervals throughout your day 

More prayer ideas: 

Find out more about Breath Prayer in our online prayer Toolshed. 

Download: Before you go to bed: How to Pray the Examen 

Download: Giving God your worries: Palms Up. Palms Down.  

How do you pray in the midst of anxiety?

Share your experiences in the comments below and look out for Part 2 of Overcoming Anxiety, Can Prayer Help? next week.