8 Biblical Meditations For Anxiety

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Guidelines for Christian meditation available in Comfort for Anxiety, please, hold the guilt trip.

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Bonus Prayers for ADHD patients and others looking for a Christian alternative to New Age clearings: 

General:

Father God, I come before you in the name of your son, Christ Jesus our Lord. Please remove every weight that besets me and keeps me from serving you effectively. Please break every chain that restrains me likewise. Please extinguish every fiery dart of the enemy. In your perfect timing, show me every hindrance, every thought of the heart that holds me back. Show me how to take it captive and bring my heart and mind into conformity to you and your truth. Transform me by the renewing of my mind. Thank you, Jesus, for setting me free. Thank you for showing me the truth. Thank you for helping me to walk in your ways. Your will be done. Amen.

For Overwhelm:

Father God, I come before you in the name of your son, Jesus Christ. I thank you that you are with us always, even to the end of the age. Deliver me from all that overwhelms me. Show me the source. Cover me in the blood of the Lamb. Anoint me with your spirit and shield me from all enemy attack. I thank you, Lord. Please break the chains of the overwhelm in my life. Please remove every weight that overwhelms me and keeps me from running a good race. By your spirit, Lord. Thank you so much that Christ died for my sins. I rest in your son. Thank you for forgiving me. Thank you for setting me free. Thank you that I can lay at your feet all that overwhelms me and rest in you. I lay it down now, Lord. I give it all over to your hands now, Lord. Your will be done. Amen.

For Financial Provision:

Father God, I come before you in the name of your son, my Lord Jesus Christ. I thank you that you are with me. Thank you for knowing my need even before I speak it. You are YHWY Yireh, my provider, and your grace is sufficient for me. Deliver me from every enemy attack on my fiances. Give me wisdom, please, to manage your property well, Lord. By the precious blood of Jesus Christ, break every chain and free me from every weight that hinders me from being a good steward of your resources. Show me anything else that gets in the way. Make a way for me, Lord, where there seems to be no way. Thank you that Christ came to give me abundant spiritual life. I thank you that you will never forsake me, for the sake of Christ’s righteousness in me. Thank you that you provide for all of my needs according to your riches in glory. Your will be done. Amen.

[tweetthis]8 #Biblical #Meditations For #Anxiety #FreePrintable #FreeChristianPrintable[/tweetthis]

[tweetthis]3 Prayers for ADHD patients and others looking for a #Christianalternative to New Age “clearing” therapies. [/tweetthis]

Comfort for Anxiety, please, hold the guilt trip.

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photo credit: Big Grey Mare Tree Planted By The Water via photopin (license)

Meditating on God’s word is an effective way to counter lies both from our own anxious minds and spiritual attacks. When tempted, Christ himself defeated Satan by countering with what it was written in the Bible. I am a student of the practice, not a teacher. And please continue any medical treatment you are on, but I’ll share what I’m learning with you.

The basics are to recognize our emotional states, identify the lies influencing us, and pick verses that effectively contradict them. When it is the devil, say it loud, with authority, and he will back down if there is no other factors at play.

When it is physical brokenness or our own wounded hearts, that is another story. Christian Meditation still can calm our minds and soothe our heart, but you have to repeat your chosen text many times, really chew on it to get it worked down into the hurting places where God is working.

In selecting texts, many of us tend to go to a concordance named Google, who reports back its top-ranked online lists of verses. “Bible on Anxiety” turns up some excellent websites. That said, nigh any list of Bible verses on anxiety includes verses with some variant of “Don’t be anxious.” For our purposes, that may not be the best choice.

In the proper context, “don’t be afraid” is a soothing reassurance. But “don’t be anxious” typically is a command, and the law tends to provoke anxiety, not relieve it. Now, if you commanding yourself to not be anxious a thousand times or so does relieve your anxiety, great. If it only heaps a guilt trip on you and makes you feel condemned, though, please skip that one.

So what does work?

First, read the most infamous verse in context. It begins Paul’s recipe for defeating anxiety. The full passage is far more helpful. However, it is not a text to meditate on, it is instructions for countering anxiety, which includes instructions on meditation. It doesn’t have to be God’s word, though God’s word is most powerful. An effective Christian meditation is “whatever” is in line with Biblical truth and is good, just, honorable, pure, and lovely. It can even be a visual from God’s word and/or of the good things of God’s creation. One image from the Word that I find helpful is of a tree planted by water, with its roots plunging right down into the stream. Secure in God’s steadfast love.

Second, get specific. What exactly are you anxious about? What provokes it? When it isn’t strictly chemical, persistent fears often arise from negative core beliefs about ourselves and others. A negative core belief is a false belief your heart harbors even when your conscious mind knows it is a lie. This subconscious fear will still influence you so long as it remains buried in your heart. It can backfire to answer your own heart the way you should answer the devil. As a wounded heart feels things, anything said in a harsh tone is speaking death. To speak life, swap out strong rebukes for a gentle, loving tone as you counter old lies with the corresponding truth about your identity in Christ.

Third, don’t rush yourself past the stage of identifying the lies your heart is holding onto to avoid “speaking death.” God can still hear you “speaking death” in your heart. It is still manifesting in your life. Face it. Admit it out loud. It is okay. You must grab hold of it to get it out. What to be wary of is latching onto it only to wallow in it. Meditation, speaking life, is more effective if we first identify the lies embedded like thorns, confess them to the Lord, and get him to remove them.

Fourth, sometimes God says no to removing such thorns in the flesh. That no is nothing to be ashamed of; it happens even to the best of us, namely the Apostle Paul himself. What God did through Paul was phenomenal, yet the man was never able to overcome the shame that had him declaring himself “the worst of sinners” over his actions before he was a Christian, despite his own teachings on the grace of God. There are times when God has a reason for our struggle, such as making his strength perfect through our weakness; in some cases, God is using our very weakness to strengthen us in his power.

Finally, here are seven Bible passages that work well as verses to meditate on to combat various kinds of anxiety. At least they comfort me and the Facebook friends who answered my short survey. Feel free to shorten these as needed, but read them in context the first time. The exact wording isn’t vital for meditation purposes, so long as it reflects the Bible’s intent and meaning.

Psalm 62 Meditation: God is my rock and my salvation, my fortress. God is a refuge for me.

2 Timothy 1:5-12 Meditation: God has given me a spirit of power, a spirit of love, and a spirit of self-control (which promotes the sound mind some translations mention.)

Matthew 19:23-29 Meditation: “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”

Isaiah 26:3 Meditation:”You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you.”

Isaiah 41:5-13 Meditation: The Lord is with us and he is our God. He will strengthen us. He will help us. He will uphold us by his righteous right hand. (From Isaiah 41:10)

Psalm 139 Meditation: God knit me together in my mother’s womb. Praise you, God, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works, including myself. (Bonus prayer: Search me, O God, and know my heart. Show me what grieves you. Lead me in the way everlasting.)

2 Cor. 4. 7-10 Meditation: I am afflicted (or hard pressed) but not crushed. I am perplexed but not in despair, persecuted but not forsaken. I am struck down but not destroyed.

Psalm 4:8 (ESV) “In peace I will both lie down and sleep; for you alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety.” (This meditation is perfect for anxiety at bedtime.)

Again, you can’t breeze through this. You have to chew on the truth; sustain focus on the verse or the Bible-based meditation for several minutes at least. Try pairing it with instrumental worship music, relaxing nature sounds, or visualizing the beauty of God’s creation. Also, keep your breathing slow, deep, and rhythmic, as if you are breathing in the truth of God’s word. Feel free to let me know what works for you and which verses are your favorites. Peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus!

[bctt tweet=””Comfort for #Anxiety, please, hold the guilt trip.” #ChristianMeditation #BiblicalMeditation” username=”@andreajgraham”]

Flashback Friday: “Warning!” Poem (Hi My name is Prejudice)

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Here is my obligatory denunciation of racism, and all other forms of prejudice for that matter, left as I first wrote it at sixteen. Note as a teenager I was warning us all to beware of our own prejudices first and foremost. Change begins with ourselves.

Warning!

Hi! My name is prejudice
You better beware of me.
Because I come in every shape
And any size, you see.
You can never be exactly sure
Who I am or where I’ll be.
Red, black, white, or polka dots
It matters not to me.
As long as I’m causing irrational fear
And panic, I’m as happy as can be.
So go ahead and play your games,
All you want with me.
I don’t care, but you best beware.
Because my name is prejudice, you see
And I can be anyone and everyone
No one is safe from me.
Lock your doors & windows, if you dare.
You can’t escape from me.
I’ll find you, all the same
And you’ll never even know it was me.
What I do you want to know?
Fine, but you didn’t here it from me.
I am the king of irrational fear and panic.
I feed off of ignorance and low self esteem.
I fill your head with false truths.
And your heart with fear, you see.
I’ll take away your very soul.
Leaving a lifeless mongrel to replace.
Away I’ll fling your true friends
And leave only the other victims of me.
I’ll turn you into your worst fear.
Just another clone of me.
Hi! My name is Prejudice
And you better beware of me.

[tweetthis remove_twitter_handles=”true”]Flashback Friday: “Warning!” #Poem Hi My name is Prejudice. You’d better beware of me. #racismsucks [/tweetthis]

In Search of Deep Modern Christian Music

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mccartyv / Pixabay

Modern Christian music sometimes gets criticized as mostly shallow, “Jesus is my boyfriend” love songs. And some are. Yet I turn on Pandora and set it to shuffle through my Christian stations and I easily find music that feeds the soul, lifts me up out of funks, calms fear and anxiety, and reminds me of eternal truth. For example:

While “Dreaming Jacob’s Dream” with Michael Card, he encourages me, “We all need dreams to seek Him.”

We adore the eternal holy one who sits on Heaven’s Mercy seat in “Revelation Song” with Philips, Craig and Dean.

“In Christ Alone” reminds me “Up from the grave he rose again” and that Christ’s victory has caused the curse to lose its grip on me, so I can stand in the power of Christ. The same track mingles in the classic, faith-affirming, “On Christ the solid rock I stand.”

Big Daddy Weave and I pray for peace as we sing Steven Curtis Chapman’s “Hold Me Jesus,” and we invite our king of Glory to once again be our Prince of Peace.

Brandon Heath’s “Your Love” at first blush sounds like it’s going to be everything “wrong” with Christian rock, boiling the mysteries of the faith down to “Your love is enough.” However, the core statement of his song is true and an important affirmation for many Christians struggling with that. The problem isn’t the song, it’s the Church increasingly falling prey to the surrounding culture’s poor grasp of what love truly is. And Heath asserts the power the world’s love denies. God’s love ‘lights up the darkness,’ gives us hope, sight to blind eyes, makes lame feet walk. Metaphorically, God’s love gives spiritual sight to spiritual blind eyes. And it’s our spiritually lame feet that stumble into the flesh’s sin that God strengthens to walk in the Spirit by faith.

“Lord I need you,” confesses Matt Maher, “every hour, I need you.” He affirms Christ as our “one defense” and our “righteousness.” He reminds us, in effect, that grace frees us from sin, that Christ is at work in us, making us holy, He advises us to sing in the face of temptation—I have done it, with another song, and it really does help.

Since this is my Pandora Christian stations on shuffle, “Old Rugged Cross” came up next, but it is a prime example of the meaty, deep, timeless classics. I’d encourage you to give them a chance, if you’re strictly into modern worship.

“Forever Reign” (by One Sonic Society) has a repetition rhythm that can make it sound shallow at first blush. It isn’t at all. The repetition isn’t just musical, it aids memorization of its core theological concepts, which are too many to list, however down-to-earth rather than “high minded” they are compared to most of the hymns. Yes, there’s “running to your arms” going on, but prodigals have been running to their father’s arms for 2,000 years. Excellent message, good sound, and it definitely lifts you up from wherever you are into worshipful mood.

“Just to Know You,” pleads Mark Schultz, as he affirms the core gospel story in depth and finishes off with his longing to respond to Christ’s giving all for us by giving all for Christ, not out of a legalistic works righteousness, but out of a passionate love and a grateful heart.

“Hosanna” shouts Hillsong United with the people as the King of Glory comes, the earth shakes, and mercy washes away sin and raises up a generation with selfless faith, and stirs rival as we pray and seek on our knees. “Hosanna” also features the “dangerous prayer” that at least six other bloggers have commented on at length, “Break my heart for what breaks yours /Everything I am for Your kingdom’s cause.” And my longer excerpt doesn’t cover half of the full prayer. If we pray it with them and mean it, it’s potentially life-changing, beloved.

Mind you, this is only scratching the surface, only the first ten or so songs that came up at random. Well, unless you believe God controls Pandora’s “shuffle” feature. Don’t know about that, myself, I needed to feed the stations it’s shuffling through with good seed songs. However, just the song or songs I needed at that moment do come up frequently.

If you haven’t read any of the commentaries on “Break my heart for what breaks yours” and are curious, here is my (likely partial) list of those bloggers’ articles:

theyoungfamilyfarm.com

mariahall.theworldrace.org/

Marilynn Chadwick

In Other Words . . .

Go Beyond (Omar Garcia)

Sam at Recklessly Alive

For the record, I recommend the “most dangerous prayer,” along with praying for patience. However, they do require a courage faith, a bravery derived from a complete trust in our Lord. He knows what we need to grow, and he’s the source of our strength to endure the heartbreak and trials of life. They’re gonna come regardless of whether we’re praying to have a right heart in the face of them. God is a good father who gives us fish and bread, not snakes and stones. Nothing God directly sends us directly as a result of prayer will ever be to our harm.

[tweetthis]In Search of Deep Modern Christian Music: lists 10 songs & 1includes #mostdangerousprayer[/tweetthis]

Courage

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courageAn evil, gnarled hand clawed at the throat of the woman in white. She sat up in bed and declared to the darkness boldly, “Spirit of Fear, how dare you trouble a child of God, be gone!”

Only her own pounding heart and racing pulse responded, every fiber of her body still on alert for the danger that wasn’t there. What was wrong with her? Why wouldn’t Fear stop tormenting her and leave? She caught the gnarled hand and dragged the creature before the throne of God. The light was blinding, coming in out of the dark. “Lord, please deliver me of this spirit of fear.”

“I have not given you a spirit of fear, but of power, of love, and of a sound mind.”

“Yes, amen, I claim that promise, deliver me from this spirit of fear, Lord.”

The Son’s face appeared as he touched her shoulder. “I have set you free, and you are free indeed. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak. Look.” He pointed, and her eyes cleared.

The pitiful hand was gnarled from being burned and belonged to a battered, bruised little girl in filthy rags. The little brat wrapped herself around the woman’s legs. “Mommy, I’m scared!”

“Lord, I don’t understand.”

“She is your emotions, especially fears born of the flesh and buried in the heart.”

“Why do you portray such a terrible thing as a child?”

“Children are gifts, and your emotions are gifts.”

“But fear is bad. Its False Evidence Appearing Real.”

“I prefer, ‘The fear of man brings a snare, but whoever trusts in the LORD is safe.’ It is also written, ‘the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.’ You’d be cursed with a seared conscience and be still lost if you had no capacity to fear. You’d also have no fear of the consequences of sin and thus not know to flee from sin. Without this gift, you’d have never seen your slavery to sin and asked to be set free.”

The woman sighed. “Okay, so how do I get free from the chains of fear so I can get on about the Father’s business?”

“You’ve been given three tools. Power, love, and a sound mind. Like a child, this one responds, slowly, to loving, firm, patient, gentle guidance from your sound mind.” The Son knelt by the trembling little one and smiled, inviting her with his nail-pierced hands to cling to him instead.

If you liked “Courage” you may also like “Enough.”

[tweetthis]Courage is fear that’s said its prayers. #free #Encouraging #devotional #flashfiction[/tweetthis]