I’m guessing that if you’re reading this, you’ve struggled or are struggling with anxiety or depression and you’re looking for hope. Maybe you feel like you’ve tried everything and you just can’t seem to beat it. You’re hoping to find a prayer for anxiety that will fix it all and make it go away. Poof! That nagging, aching, painful feeling inside is now gone and you can go back to normal. Maybe you feel lost, afraid and alone. I bet you also sometimes feel a little guilty that you’re supposed to “be anxious for nothing” as a Christian and you can’t seem to get it right. That depresses you, and now you feel like quitting and pulling away from everyone. That was me. I was there, and I was there big time.
My marriage was in shambles. I was shouldering all of the responsibility of raising three kids, two of them teenagers (Lord, help me!) all on my own. Working, cooking, cleaning, carpooling, fixing, financing, supporting, loving, providing—it was all on me. My anxiety was through the roof, and I didn’t know what to do about it. I was trying everything I could think of: counseling, meditation, medication, music, exercise, reciting Scriptures, you name it! Nothing seemed to take it away. Don’t get me wrong, it was definitely helping to do these things. I started to see the world in color again. I learned to use the tools I needed to get myself centered again. But I just couldn’t make it past a certain point. I was still struggling. Looking back, one thing I realize I wasn’t trying was “not trying.” Let me explain.
If you search Scripture, you will find a plethora of verses on the topic of worry to pore over and pick apart. I know because I did it. I was looking for a magic formula to help me conquer it once and for all. In my search, I found something unexpected. You have to pay attention to see it, but in these verses there are implicit instructions from our Father to do nothing. What? Nothing? Yes, nothing. In Matthew 11:28 NIV, Jesus says, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” He is doing the work here, not us. We just have to come to Him. In John 14:27 NIV, He says, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you …” Are you sensing a theme? He is giving us peace. He is giving us rest. We do nothing. Again in Matthew 6:25-34 NIV, this famous passage tells us not to worry, for God even “clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire,” so how much more will He take care of us? Here we are told to “seek first his kingdom … and all these things will be given” to us. That’s right—did you catch that? Given!
God is a giver. He has the answers, and He has our back. Some things we just can’t do ourselves, but that is exactly how He designed it. All we have to do is trust Him and come to Him. He does the rest! And you know, all of those things I worried about worked out, one way or another. My self-imposed worry was causing horrible physical symptoms and depression. It wasn’t until I took a breath, rested, truly came to Jesus, got quiet, let go of all the details, told God that I trusted Him completely—and then learned to do nothing—that I finally found peace. My prayers became less about my situation and more about my trust in Him.
If you need to do the same, I highly encourage you to rest. Find a quiet place, away from everyone and everything, and pray this prayer for anxiety and depression. You may want to keep this prayer in your phone or on your mirror to help you remember to give it all to God and wait in expectation. I can promise you this: He will give you rest. He will give you peace. And His answers are infinitely better than anything you could ever come up with. You can trust Him.
I come to You today to ask for help. You are my everything. Lord, I need rest. I give You my worry. Take it, Lord. I accept Your peace, love, and understanding. Help me to turn to You and not to myself. Help me to stop doing and start trusting. Help me to wait on Your answers, because I know that they are good. Give me wisdom, hope, and peace. Thank you, Lord, for Your patience and grace. I love You, and I know You love me so much more than I could ever imagine.