Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”Philippians 4:6-7
We all have anxiety from time to time. When our days are marked by worry, nervousness, and fear, it is not our fault. (Courtney E. Ackerman, MSc.)
We are constantly surrounded by negativity whether it is people or situations trying to invade our lives to steal our peace and eventually isolating us from our source of peace. So we have to find a way to guard our heart and mind and the best way is through prayer.
But how does someone with anxiety reach out to God during these times?
When I became pregnant with my last born, ten years after my first son, I struggled with anxiety attacks during my first two months of pregnancy. I was so dependent on my oldest daughter ( who was 12 at that time) and my husband. I did not understand what I was going through, because I didn’t know that I was pregnant. Outsiders were so inconsiderate about my situation and acted as if it was nothing major. Luckily for me, I was not forsaken but grounded in Christ. I got a firm grip on the following scripture :
For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power, love, and self-control.2 Timothy 1:7
This scripture became my weapon as I sleep and woke up, I found it gripped in my hand and every time anxiety flooded over me, I declared it repeatedly; until it left.
Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.James 4:7
When life becomes more challenged
- single parenthood
- teen years
- University life
- deadlines at work
- lining up for meetings
- trying to make friends
- facing health problems
- school+ home +job
- starting a new job
- unknown environment
- pressure to perform
Check out: Gameplan for change
How journaling can help to overcome anxiety
1.Journaling records your thoughts, mood, and spiritual strength.
We have a constant thought life, where the biggest battle for our peace takes place. A pen in our hand becomes a resource for our thoughts to be visible so we can identify or visualize the attacks to steal our peace and clarity. When we journal we make it easier for the Holy Spirit to help us to identify traces of anxiety in our hearts and mind.
2.Prayer Journaling helps us to do thought maintenance
Weird, but true.🙄
When writing down our prayers, we can notice the strongholds of fear in our words, contradicting the word of God. As soon as I notice wrong thought habits in my prayers, I immediately switch to what the word of God says about my situation. I take captive every thought and bring it to obedience. (2 Corinthians 10:5)We cannot rely on our own words to fight anxiety. The Holy Spirit, our Counselor, helps us to take control of our thoughts and to bring them unto obedience to God.
For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword,
it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes
of the heart.
3.Prayer journaling holds us accountable
A person should be held accountable to guard over his or her thoughts and words, but when we are vulnerable and uncertain we need a strategy to fight negativity. Being passive about it is a chance for anxiety to gain territory in our hearts. Confiding in God through our written prayers gives the Holy Spirit a legal right to remind us of our requests and to warn us of any contradictions.
4.Journaling serves as an improvement tracker
Tracking your emotional improvement becomes much easier with journaling. As children of God ( John 1:12) we have the Holy Spirit to support us and to provide the rope to pull us out of the valley of fear.
5. Prayer journaling helps to create a sound mind
When we are clouded with fear and worries, we cannot see the purpose of God in our lives. It is then difficult to discern the appropriate times of God in our lives. Prayer journaling gets rid of the fears clouding our hearts and mind, replacing them with the habit to think positively and discipline us according to the word of God.
Write your first prayer journal entry!
I’ve experienced how God reveals Himself through prayer journaling, therefore I can write so much more about it; but God wants us to reach out to Him through prayer. Whether it is in a notebook or a piece of paper in our closet, He knows the intention of our hearts. Keeping an ordinary notebook as a prayer journal is very convenient because it’s easily accessible. Get a grip on some scripture rope.
Be persistent. Press on. Be patient.