3 Strategies to Practice Giving Your Anxieties and Worries to God | 1 Peter 5:7 | Ephesians 6:18-20

 How do I give my anxiety to God? How Can God Help Me with My Anxiety?


Today, I'm going to share three strategies that anyone can use to help control and regulate their anxiety from day to day. This is part of the "Emotions Series" on this blog, blogcast, and on the Gospel Life Learning YouTube channel. 

We all know that Philippians 4 says,  "Don't worry about anything...Pray about everything." And scripture also tells us to cast all our anxieties, cast all our fears to the Lord - because he cares for us. (1 Peter 5:7). For many people, those are two of our favorite verses. It is so comforting to know that is what God wants for us,  and that is one way the Holy Spirit through Jesus Christ wants to help us. 

But is anyone else wondering, "How? How do I do that?"  I'm going to give you three strategies, and two of the strategies you can do quickly almost anywhere. The third strategy -  you could probably also do almost anywhere but it takes a little bit more structure. In the context of what I teach, I teach these strategies (without the spiritual aspect) to the people that I work with—my students, my teens, their parents—but here,  I am able to teach these anxiety management strategies that I've learned through my training in psychology.  I can also combine them with the spiritual part,  because when we use these techniques together with our spiritual helper, the Holy Spirit, it just takes an even deeper root. 

The first strategy is probably one that you've heard: visualization. Often times we're told, when we're stressed or even in pain, to visualize one of your favorite places, your relaxing vacation place, and just visualize that you are there. Now what I do, what I recommend relates back to the verse to  "cast your anxieties to him."  What I do is - I actually visualize all of my worries (in a large bag). I visualize all the little things going on in my head - what might happen later this afternoon, all the things that I need to get done and I don't think I have enough time to do it, waiting for someone to get a report back from the doctor—all of these things. I visualize that they are in a big laundry sack, and that is my laundry sack of my worries and anxieties, and it' has become heavy. When I visualize, I actually visualize that Jesus is standing right there, like four to five feet away from me, and I just toss it. I toss that bag to him, and he catches it, and he smiles and says thank you, I'll carry this load from here. 

That is the first strategy. When I am going through a really stressful week or a stressful time, I will actually do that each morning before I leave the home. I will do that visualization exercise where I'm tossing my anxieties; and it does make a huge difference for me. So go ahead and try that! 

The second strategy is through praying in the Spirit , or sitting still with God and just asking God to send his Spirit to pray on our behalf. In prayer, say, "I'm having a lot going on in my mind, I'm having a hard time even focusing on this prayer. I just ask that you bring to my mind the power of the Holy Spirit and that the Holy Spirit will intercede for me." I've only been doing this for about the past year, and it's been pretty tremendous. It's a way to worship and to have the Spirit intercede for us. Sometimes I can sit there for as long as seven or eight minutes, allowing him to evaluate what's going on, to take care of it, and to take my worries. Praying in the Spirit is basically sitting still with God, thinking about things of God, and allowing the Spirit to intercede for you while you are requesting for it to pray on your behalf. That's the second strategy. 

The third strategy is to have a time and a place to worry and to have a worry journal for that time to worry. Now, some of you are saying, "Wait a minute, we're not supposed to worry. We're supposed to reduce worrying, and now you're telling us to purposefully worry?" Yes! What this does is it actually puts worry into its place. It puts worry into a box, into the notebook. So as you're going through your day, when you become aware that you're starting to get into an anxious spin, you can say, "Oh, I'm going to write that down at 8:00 and I'm going to stress as much as I can about it at 8:00."  Then you sit down each day at 8:00 p.m. or whatever time you've set, and you just set that timer for 10 minutes and you just scribble it out—all your worries, all your concerns, everything that's got you going - you put it down on that paper. 

In a regular counseling session without the spiritual component, that's all you would do, and that would be pretty effective in helping to keep you from being worried all day long. But once again, with the spiritual aspect, you take that journal, you close it, and set it maybe even on top of your Bible. Then you do the visualization task again, and you can visualize that you hand the notebook of worries off to God, saying, "Thank you, God, I'm handing this off to you." It becomes even a more powerful strategy.

 Now regardless of whether you do the spiritual handing it off to God or not, which I hope that you do, the strategy is effective because as you go through your day, you will have times when you aware that you're starting to spiral a little bit. When you realize it, you can say, "Oh, I'm going to write that down at 8 o'clock, and I'm going to spend as much time as I can, up to 10 minutes, worrying about that at my worry time at 8:00." Eventually, what happens is - you get to 8:00 or whatever time you've set, and you don't need a full 10 minutes. Maybe you only need 8 minutes, then maybe you only need four minutes, and eventually you get to that worry time and you realize, "I don't even really need to worry." At that point, you can turn your worry journal into a prayer and thanksgiving journal, and you can still hand those thoughts of gratitude off to the Lord.


How can we pray without ceasing? Is this instruction from the Bible just rhetoric? Should we even try? To learn simple strategies to grow closer to God in our daily routines and rhythms, read Closer to God: Simple Methods, Starting Today by Sherry Elaine

Find the author's books at Sherry Elaine books on Amazon

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