No matter what you are facing today that is causing you to seek God’s help, rest assured that He can give you a “peace that passes understanding” (Philippians 4:7) in the face of fears. You can begin praying over your anxiety today and trusting God with tomorrow. Through prayer, you can release worry to Him, who loves you, and know that He a plan for everything in your life. The best thing you can do when you feel anxiety rising is to take it to God in prayer. Experience the power of surrendering your worries to God and receive His peace.
Anxiety can creep in at any time. We live in a world that attacks us daily with events and situations that cause worry and panic to rise. Anxiety, if left unaddressed, can slowly rise to a level of non-stop panic and fear. While we may do a good job at hiding and masking it, the anxious feelings will destroy from the inside out. From the inability to focus on tasks to panic attacks, Satan will use anxiety to stop you from living the full life God has for you. We can fight anxiety through prayer and casting our worries on God.
Scripture Prayer For Fear And Anxiety
A Prayer to Overcome Anxiety
Heavenly Father, thank You for being an overcoming God! I know I can take heart because You have overcome the world. Empower me to rise above my circumstances. Help me cast my anxiety on You because You care for me. Give me Your power to overcome. Thank You for giving me the victory! In Jesus’ Name, Amen. (Esther Fleece Allen)
A Prayer to Calm Your Anxiety
Lord, you know me. You made me. You love me. Meet me where I am in this moment. You knew I’d be here. Do what You want with my churning insides and my spinning mind and my blown-up fear. Don’t waste a minute of my anxiety. Heal it. Use it. Change it. Instead of begging for something specific, I give myself to You. What do you want from me and for me? Thank you for understanding me when no one else does and loving me anyway. In Jesus’ Name, Amen. (Lori Freeland)
To Feel God’s Love and Care
Dear God, help me know You love me. Help me feel Your caring arms around me today, even in the dark. Help me hear Your voice singing over me. In Jesus’ Name, Amen (Emily T. Wierenga)
Finding Calm to Quiet Your Soul
Dear Lord, thank You for the calm and quiet you promise is accessible to me even in the middle of the chaos. God, it often feels impossible to find when life is spinning out of control. Help me to remember that when I feel overwhelmed by what I can’t predict or plan, that You already know what will play out and are with me through the process. Help me, Lord, to trust You as I steady my mind and heart on Your promises. Help me to care for my body in the way it needs so that my mind can embrace Your Truth more easily.
In Jesus’ Name, Amen. (Elisa Pulliam)
A Prayer to Focus on God, Not the Anxious Thoughts
Father, in the midst of my stress and panic, please open my eyes. Show me what You are doing. Remind me that You are greater than all those who are against me. Help me see where You are at work and give me Your joy and encouragement. In the Name of Jesus, who is for me, I make this prayer,
Amen. (Mary Southerland)
Quiet My Anxious Heart
Dear Lord, Would You please quiet my anxious heart? Give me courage to step out in faith, beyond what I can see or attempt to control. I bring You these burdens now: __.
In Jesus’ Name, Amen. (Gwen Smith)
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prayer anxious heart
Lord, Help My Anxious Heart
Gracious Father, You are trustworthy, and yet I forget that. Too often I try to work out every situation in my own thoughts without once acknowledging You. Give me the right words to help my child. Give me a heart of love and patience. Use me to remind them that You are with them, You will be their God, You will strengthen them. Remind me You will uphold them, You will be their help. Please be my help today. Be my strength today. Remind me that You have promised to love me and my children eternally — and that You will never leave us. Please let me rest and trust in You, and help me teach my kids the same. In Jesus’ Name, Amen. (Jessica Thompson)
A Prayer for Peace and Relief from Anxiety
Lord, Today I pray that You would help me exchange my attempts at escape and relief for Your perfect peace. I pray that You would give me wisdom in my decisions, and use them to bring a harvest of righteousness in my life. Today Lord, I choose to trust You and Your peace as my guard. Teach me to cast all my anxiety on You, because I know You care for me. In Jesus’ Name, Amen. (Grace Mills)
The continuity of our relationship with God is facilitated by our prayer life.
When we pray, we allow God to do His work in and through us because we are making ourselves vulnerable to Him. Praying also strengthens our connection to God.
We learn more about a person through conversation and interaction. The same process takes place when we talk to God in prayer. Spending more time in conversation with Him is the surest way to become closer to Him.
As it says in James 4:8, “Draw near to God and He will draw near to you” (NKJV).
Many times in my own life, I have experienced the peace that passes all understanding when I have drawn near to God in prayer.
Praying helps me center my thoughts on what’s most important. Praying gives us a divine perspective on life and is therefore crucial. A member of my youth group passed away suddenly. Finding effective ways to love and minister to our wounded students has been challenging. The power of prayer has sustained me through this difficult period. It has helped me communicate with God, hear His voice, and experience His presence while I grieve alongside my church and community.
Be worried about nothing, but in everything, through prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. (NKJV).
Praying puts us in a position to experience God’s peace, which is beyond our comprehension. Prayer keeps my mind on the things that are dear to God, both in the happy times and the bad.
To Be Anxious For Nothing
Heavenly Father, Thank You for never leaving us nor forsaking us. As your daughters walk through valleys and experience painful anxiety, heal us completely if that is Your will. If You have a different plan for our lives, give us Your strength, love and courage and walk with us each day. We love You dearly. … In Jesus’ Name, Amen (Lara Sadowski)
To Be a Warrior not a Worrier
Father, thank You for being good and kind to us. You are loving and faithful beyond all reason. Thank You for the gift of faith. Thank You for reminding us that You are our provider and it is Your delight to do so. You call us beloved. You shower peace in our hearts and rest to our souls. May we seek You above all the cares of this world. May we tune every other voice out in order to hear Your whisper. We thank You for the work You’re doing even when we don’t understand or can’t see it. May our lives trust You at all times, in every way. In Jesus’ Name, Amen. (Karina Allen)
Casting Worries and Anxieties on God
God, I know that You are strong and mighty. You can carry the weight of all the burdens that I am struggling to carry. I am casting off my worries and tossing them onto You. Thank You for bearing my burdens for me. Amen.
Lighten the Load Jesus
Lord Jesus, I have carried this burden far too long. My present sin is disabling my heart. My past guilt has paralyzed my future obedience. Anxiety over things I can’t control has taken siege over my soul. I am worn out. I cannot continue on my own. Right now, I come to You. I am taking You at Your word. I am seeking to partner with You and have You take my load. I am ready for my burden to be lightened and my heart to find rest. In Your name. Amen. (Ron Moore)
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A Prayer to Give God Worries and Depression
Dear Father in Heaven, so much in my life is broken. I have so many concerns and cares, and they weigh me down. While I desire to cast my cares upon You, I find I usually pick them back up again, and they only add more anxiety and stress. Please help me learn to cast my cares on You as I learn what it means to rest and trust in You. In Jesus’ Name, Amen. (Chrystal Hurst)
Prayer for Peace Over Worry
Dear God, help me wait well. Help me know what to do and when to do it. Then, help me do the holy work of rest, even when I would rather work and worry. Give me peace, and teach me to trust You as I wait for You to answer my prayers. In Jesus’ Name, Amen. (Chrystal Evans Hurst)
Trade Worry, Anxiety, Pain for Peace
Father God, I thank You that You are compassionate, merciful and faithful in Your love for me. I thank you that You know every thread of every thought I have. You care deeply when I hurt and You care deeply when I am joyful. Help me to come to you in prayer with all my worries, pain and anxiety and trade them for Your peace that passes all understanding. Help me to come to You with all of my joyful moments and rejoice. In Jesus’ Name, Amen. (Ramona Davis)
Prayer to Replace Struggle with Joy
Heavenly Father, You alone are my secret keeper and know the darkest places within my heart. Lord, I feel tired, overwhelmed and unworthy of Your love. Help me to truly surrender the things that keep me imprisoned inside my heart. Replace my struggle with Your joy. I want my joy back. I want to stand beside You and celebrate this life that You have paid so dearly to give me. Thank you, Lord. You truly are the greatest gift of all. Consume me in Your joy, for I believe that the Joy of YOU Father, is where my strength is found. Thank You, Lord … In Jesus’ Name, Amen. (AJ Luck)
Peace for the Overwhelmed Heart
Lord, when my heart is overwhelmed, overwhelm me with Your peace. Lead me to You, my rock. Guide me to Your Word which gives me strength and refuge. Help me not to run to lesser things. Draw me to run to You first. Help me get into the habit of taking my “overwhelmed” and placing it under your will. Thank You, Lord. In Jesus’ Name, Amen (Jennifer Rotheschild)
A Prayer for When You Feel Weary and Burdened
Thank you that your yoke is easy and your burden is light. Thank you that you promise to give the worried, the hurried, the pressured, and stressed out – rest and peace for our souls – if we’ll just come before you. Thank you that you already know all that concerns us, and you care. We’re so grateful for your reminder that we don’t have to carry it all on our own. Forgive us for the times that we’ve tried to fix things in our own power, for not taking the time to rest, or coming to you first with our needs and burdens. Thank you for the refreshing that comes from your Spirit, filling us with joy, covering us with a shield, leading us forward with hope. Equip us to be those who take notice of others who seem weary and burdened too. Help us to slow down, to take the time, to point others to you. In Jesus’ Name, Amen. (Debbie McDaniel)
Prayer for Faith Instead of Fear and Worry
Father, please forgive me when I give in to fear and worry instead of stepping out in faith and believing You. Help me learn how to capture my thoughts and train them to focus on You. I want to become a woman who trusts You – no matter what. My faith is small, but I now choose to place it in You. In Jesus’ Name, Amen. (Mary Southerland)
For Brave Faith When Life Gets Scary
Dear God, I need Your peace today. I know that in order to be at rest I have to stop juggling fear with faith. So I ask for Your wisdom. Help me to be brave. I come now and hand over these concerns (pause to personalize this). Fill me with Your love, joy and peace instead, Lord. In Jesus’ name, Amen. (Gwen Smith)
Short Prayer For Anxiety
Loving God, please grant me peace of mind and calm my troubled heart. My soul is like a turbulent sea. I can’t seem to find my balance so I stumble and worry constantly. Give me the strength and clarity of mind to find my purpose and walk the path you’ve laid out for me.
“Casting all your anxieties on Him, because He cares for you.” ~ 1 Peter 5:7
Why should we pray when feeling anxiety? Let’s look at the true nature of anxiety and prayer to understand how it helps.
The Apostle Paul is an inspiration for praying through our anxiety and tribulations.
In AD 62 (or so), Paul was languishing under “house arrest,” awaiting a trial to determine whether or not he’d be killed for his faith in Christ. The deranged Emperor Nero was to be his judge — a man who’d already executed his own mother and who’d very soon orchestrate the cruelest persecution of Christians in history. (In fact, Nero did indeed order Paul’s death in AD 67).
Imprisoned with heavy chains manacling him to a Roman soldier, Paul wrote to Christians in Philippi where, years prior, that city’s leaders had violently evicted him (Acts 16:12-38). They’d persecuted Jesus-followers ever since. Into these dire circumstances, Paul gave his friends this absurd advice:
“Do not be anxious about anything, 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 your minds in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:6-7).
How could Paul say that—and actually mean it? The answer lies in understanding the true nature of worry, and the true nature of prayer.
The True Meaning of Worry and Anxiety
Anxiety has four main characteristics.
- Mental health expert, Suzanne Jessee, explains in her book, Escape Anxiety:
“A friend once told me, ‘Worry is praying for what you don’t want to happen.’ We could also say that worry is a form of meditation. Any time we have focused concentration on something specific, it is a kind of meditation and/or hypnosis. So be careful what you meditate on!”
- Our worried thoughts are defined by emotional perception. Noted author Stephen Covey observes in The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, “We see the world not as it is, but as we are.” Thus if we begin to feel fearful, our world becomes fearful; when we feel threatened—whether that threat is real or imagined our world becomes threatening. So we worry.
- Worry is a cognitive conflict of opposing desires. When the Apostle Paul spoke of being “anxious” in Philippians 4:6, the Greek word he used meant “to be pulled in different directions.” As theologian Warren Wiersbe commented, “Our hopes pull us in one direction; our fears pull us in the opposite direction; and we are pulled apart!”
- Worry is always outcome-based and always stressed about tomorrow. It fixates our thoughts on unrealized results — and how those future outcomes can disappoint.
The True Meaning of Prayer
Looking at the five characteristics above, I begin to understand why Paul’s practical instruction in Philippians 4:6 makes so much sense.
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.”
You see, the true nature of prayer, accompanied by petition and thanksgiving, is this: It reorients our thinking away from the temporal and toward the eternal.
Do you see what Paul has done here? With this simple advice, he renders impotent the power of worry over the human soul! A Philippians 4:6 prayer is not simply a recitation of fears. This kind of praying instinctively redirects within us the natural meditative impulse. It turns our perceptions and desires away from fearful future outcomes, focusing us instead on the unifying truth that God is sufficient, even when the circumstances of this life are not.
Does that mean we’ll never face difficulty or even death? Of course not. But it does mean that regardless of the outcome, in the midst of an awful circumstance, we can connect our minds with Christ’s—supernaturally, intimately—and thus redirects our limited, temporal thinking to align with His true, eternal perspective.
Prayer To Help Anxiety And Panic Attacks
This is an astonishing gift. And it includes a shockingly generous consequence (Philippians 4:7):
“And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” …Wow.
How Do We Give Our Anxiety to God in Prayer?
So, if this is the true nature of worry, and also the true nature of prayer, what does that mean for us?
Giving our worries and problems to God in prayer is, in the simplest sense, an honest, meditative conversation with our Father whereby we attempt to transfer responsibility for desired outcomes out of our hands and into His. It’s a deliberate act of faith that trusts in who God is more than our perception of what He does or doesn’t do. That’s why, even when shackled to a Roman soldier, the Apostle Paul could write with such confidence: Do not be anxious about anything …
Now, here’s something to help you experience Philippians 4:6-7 for yourself. It’s a mental image my wife once gave me, so now I give you this gift as well:
One time I was emotionally locked up with worry over a fretful situation. Amy came to me and gently took hold of my wrist.
“Make a fist,” she instructed, “and hold out your hand, palm up.” Next, she said, “Open the fingers of your fist. Spread them wide so that anything in your hand would spill through them like water.” After I’d done that, she said, “Now, that problem you’re worrying about? Picture it pouring through your fingers and into God’s great big hands. He’s got it. Regardless of what happens, it’s His problem now. It’s not yours to worry about anymore.”
Even as she was dying from cancer, there were moments she’d look up at me from the hospital bed and raise a chemo-shrunken fist. Then she’d smile and spread wide her fingers. Amy never had to say a word for me to hear her voice whisper reassurance into my heart, “God’s got this, regardless of what happens…”
And my girl was right.
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus…” (Philippians 4:6-7).
What Does This Mean?
Space prevents me from digging more deeply into this, so take a little time on your own to read all of Philippians 4:5-20 with the perspective of reorienting your thinking from the temporal to the eternal. If you’re like me, this exercise will help you very much. “I can do all things through him who strengthens me.” ~ Philippians 4:13
Find prayers for anxiety below, compiled by the Crosswalk staff, to help you in “casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.” (1 Peter 5:7)
10 Prayers for Anxiety
praying in the spirit
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Prayer to Soothe an Anxious Heart
Dear Lord, I thank you that I can come to You always for any reason. I’m grateful that when I pray to You, You answer me. Help me to come to You at the beginning of my fears and anxieties instead of waiting until I can’t stand them anymore. The quicker I come to You the better. You want to free me from ALL my fears. Help me look to You for help more often so that I can be radiant with Your joy. In Jesus’ Name, I pray, Amen.
Source: Jennifer Heeren
A Prayer for Anxiety: Lord, Have Mercy
Lord, have mercy. In all our needs… In all our hurts… In all our anxiety…
Lord, have mercy. With all our questions… With all we know… With all we don’t know…
Lord, have mercy. For healing… For peace… For a stronger trust in Your Word and promise…
Lord, have mercy. To calm our doubts… To soothe our fears… To bear our griefs and carry our sorrows…
Lord, have mercy. Help, save, comfort, forgive, strengthen, and heal us by your grace. Amen.
Prayer for Times of Anxiety
May Jesus Christ, the King of glory,
help us to make the right use
of all the suffering that God sends,
and to offer him the true incense of our hearts;
for his name’s sake. Amen
Source: Johannes Tauler, d. 1361
Prayer for Peace in Jesus Christ
“‘I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.’” (John 16:33)
Dear Jesus, You are the Prince of Peace. You came to give us your peace. It’s nothing like the world gives. It is a peace born in the freedom we have in you, a gift to all God’s children—to guard our hearts and minds.
I can’t escape the troubles of this world. I may face financial difficulties, relationship breakdowns, a health crisis—so many scary challenges. But you tell me to “take heart,” to be encouraged because you have overcome the world. You have overcome all the things that would discourage and defeat us. I am grateful for your peace that is beyond all my circumstances.
Father of Mercy, Come to My Help
Almighty God, Father of mercies and God of all comfort, come to my help and deliver me from this difficulty that besets me.
I believe Lord, that all trials of life are under your care and that all things work for the good of those who love you.
Take away from me fear, anxiety, and distress. Help me to face and endure my difficulty with faith, courage, and wisdom.
Grant that this trial may bring me closer to you for you are my rock and refuge, my comfort and hope, my delight and joy.
I trust in your love and compassion. Blessed is your name, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, now and forever. Amen.
Source: Orthodox prayer, slightly modified
Hope that Comes from God’s Promise
O Father in heaven, look upon all your people who struggle with anger, anxiety, doubt, frustration, guilt, hopelessness, loss, memories, lack of patience, pain, regret, sadness, selfishness, temptation and weakness.
Your holy Word tells us “All things work together for the good of those who love God, who are called according to his purpose.” And that means that you make all these things work for your good purpose in our lives, even when we do not understand.
Remind us of your invitation, “Cast all your cares upon me,” and of your assurance that goes with it, “because I care for you.” …through your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Source: Paul C. Stratman, 2017
Preserve Us from Faithless Fears
O most loving Father, you want us to give thanks for all things, to dread nothing but losing you, and to cast all our anxiety on you because you care for us.
Preserve us from faithless fears and worldly anxieties and grant that no clouds of this mortal life may hide from us the light of that love which is immortal, and which you have shown us in your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen
Source: Freely modified from Prayers Ancient and Modern
Prayer Against Worry
“Dear Father, I admit that I often forget that you are with me. I often forget what you’re like. Would you please forgive me for that? I need to get to know you better. I need to get to know your Word and your promises better. Help me to put you first in every area of my life. Help me to live one day at a time. Help me to not worry about tomorrow but instead focus on what you’re doing in my life right now. I want to trust in your promise to take care of every one of my needs — financial, relational, physical, social, spiritual, and emotional. Help me to trust you more and worry less. I pray in Jesus’ Name. Amen.”