Have you noticed that more and more people seem to struggle with anxiety these days? Maybe you have experienced greater anxiety yourself in recent years. When I see the growing divisiveness and the pain of our sisters and brothers around the world, it is hard for me to not slip into anxious thinking. That is why I am so grateful for our time together with Nader Sahyouni.
Nader guided us wonderfully through an examination of how God invites us to respond in our anxiety. It was such a thoughtful and grace-filled teaching with helpful handles for praying during anxious seasons. We follow the example of Jesus and Paul when we pray the pattern of please, thank you, and yes.
We begin asking God to fix the anxiety producing situation. What a gift to know this is not only a welcomed prayer but Jesus himself prayed it. Of course, we see in the example of both Jesus and Paul that God may not take it away. If that is the case, we know God is working to redeem it in some way, so we pray “Thank you,” asking for the redemption of our pain. Finally, we learn to pray, “Yes,” accepting the situation.
Nader then guided us through a practice of prayerful journaling. If you couldn’t be with us, would you make some time this week to listen and engage the meaningful practice in the podcast? You can also find the prompts for prayer below.
This week we would invite you to continue to pray through the pattern of please, thank you, and yes in your anxiety. You may journal or pray this pattern in your time of prayer. But we would also ask that you share your prayer with a trusted spiritual friend. Anxiety grows in the dark, so how might you shine a light on your anxiety in community this week?
Ask God to fix the anxiety producing situation.
If God has not fixed it, thank him for how he is redeeming it. Pray for the redemption you know he is working out, even though you probably don’t see it right now.
Accept the situation in prayer. If it’s too hard to accept, first ask for strength and courage to say yes. If it’s still too hard, ask God to show you if you’re believing any lies about it. Finally ask him for the faith you need to say yes.