When Prayer Doesn’t Seem to Fix Worry

Here's what to do next.

If prayer is the cure for worry, you might be tempted to think that your prayer was ineffective. Maybe you feel that you somehow failed because your anxiety returned—perhaps as soon as you said, “Amen.”

When Prayer Doesn't Seem to Fix Worry
(Photo courtesy of Unsplash)

Happens to me from time to time. I take my persistent anxiety as a signal that I need more time before the Father, reviewing all the details of my situation, telling Him how much it plagues me, and sometimes even admitting that I’m afraid He won’t handle it soon enough.

Having a deep, persistent concern for a problem is not the same as worry. Not at all!

  • Worry is choosing to fret and churn instead of turning it completely over to God.
  • Worry is wrestling with anxiety on your own rather than releasing it to the Father.

Big difference.

Most people whom I consider to be men and women of prayer go before God because their hearts are heavy. They tell me that nothing but continual conversation with Him brings them relief.

So, if you tend to worry a lot, here’s a solution.

Pray a Lot

For such relief to become a reality you will have to exercise the discipline of surrender as you rely on Him to solve the problem . . . in His way and in His time. Effective, results-getting prayer includes the thought:

Lord, this is Your problem to handle. You take control. Let me know what You want me to do if I’m to be involved in the solution. By leaving it with You, I will consider it solved.

It’s at that point you discipline your mind not to worry.

  • Refuse to continue seeking answers or trying to find resolution. You solved the problem by giving it to God.
  • Your major responsibility now is to wait for His leading. When He wants you to act, He will make it clear. He has dozens of ways to do that, so there’s no need for you to force that door open on your own.
  • As you wait before Him, He will direct your thoughts to the next step you should take. If there is nothing He leads you to do, do nothing more. He will take it from there.

Because we are weak creatures of habit, our anxiety will quite likely return and we will have to return to prayer and release it all again.

That’s normal.

In fact, if we could rid ourselves of all anxiety with a thirty-second prayer, 1 Thessalonians 5:17, “pray without ceasing,” wouldn’t make much sense.

What Praying without Ceasing Looks Like

Start your day with prayer and continue praying off and on throughout the day.

  • Pray as you drive.
  • Pray at work.
  • Pray before your lunch break.
  • Pray as you study.
  • Pray before you preach.
  • Pray as you preach.
  • Pray when you get that difficult phone call.
  • Pray when you are disappointed by something or someone.
  • Pray when surprises come.
  • Pray when you triumph.
  • Pray in the midst of painful news.
  • Pray without ceasing . . . literally.

Your heavenly Father, being touched deeply over your struggles, loves it when you come to Him, asking for help. He is right there, ready to step in. Invite Him to do just that!

Trust me . . . He will.

See also: The Cure for Worry

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