Calm YOUR Anxiety with Scripture and Prayer!

If you are an adult living the world today, you have no doubt experienced stress and anxiety at some point. In part, it may be created by the technological age in which we live. We have too much input coming into our lives from sources that can emotionally drain us when instead we need moments of solitude, rest, and contemplation.

Battling Anxiety: A Lesson from Elijah
We live in a stressful world. Most of us are too busy and that often robs us of our time with God while adding guilt to our overly stressed lives. And then for some people, they erroneously feel they are failing God in some way by admitting anxious thoughts and feelings. This is not so. God is ever-present. He knows how we feel before our fears are even uttered, and He knows the root cause, too. Whatever the cause, it worsens when we are sleep deprived. Fatigue usually raises its head during these times—causing our anxiety to intensify and making us feel weak and defenseless. It is in these vulnerable moments that Satan attacks.

The prophet Elijah is a perfect example of a strong man of God feeling weak and depressed. After the victory on Mount Carmel (1 Kings 18), it appears Elijah lost his confidence in God’s ability to protect him because he ran from Jezebel instead of standing firm as he did when he confronted the 850 false prophets of Baal. This is what happened: “Now Ahab told Jezebel everything Elijah had done and how he had killed all the prophets with the sword. So Jezebel sent a messenger to Elijah to say, ‘May the gods deal with me, be it ever so severely, if by this time tomorrow I do not make your life like that of one of them.’ Elijah was afraid and ran for his life” (1 Kings 19:1-3, NIV).

Anxiety Is Not a Sin, It Is a Symptom
Talk about going from victory to defeat! Elijah’s emotions took a complete turn because he was emotionally drained and exhausted. Perhaps you can relate to that. In the book of James we are told that “Elijah was a man with a nature like ours” (James 5:17). Despite his temporary lapse into depression and fear (1 Kings 19:4-5), Elijah went on to accomplish great things for God. But even he, this wonderful prophet of God, when exhausted and alone, began to experience doubts and fears. So don’t allow fatigue and physical weakness and the accompanying anxious thoughts and feelings to separate you from the One who not only knows your thoughts but also cares for you above all that you can ask or think. Anxiety is not a sin; it is a symptom.

So, whenever you or someone you know feels emotionally drained or trapped by feelings of despair—Scripture and prayer are the place to begin your recovery. Considering this, here are some Scriptures to offer comfort and encouragement in those stressful moments or days. Choose one or two of these Scriptures and write them on a card as a source of help during anxious moments. Then find a prayer partner who will join with you in taking your concerns to God in prayer.  Through them you will learn:
You are not alone.

-Dr. David Jeremiah