Are you worried and anxious about something going on in your life right now? Do you feel hopeless or discouraged? Have the cares of this life come to the point of overwhelming you? Do you wonder if a Christian meditation for anxiety could help you?
Today, I want for us to explore the topic of prayer, and specifically how prayer can be of benefit to those of us who are suffering from stress and anxiety. Towards the end, I’ll be leading us through a prayer of reflection on the work of God and His power over the things we fear.
Let’s consider how we might cast our burdens on the Lord and trust Him to give us the strength we need to press on.
Before we continue, I suggest that you read the in-depth article about The Contemplative Meditation.
Table of Contents
An Introduction to a Christian Meditation For Anxiety
As Catholics, the concept of prayer is a familiar one to us. From the congregational prayers and songs of the mass to praying the rosary, prayer is a significant element of the Catholic faith.
But prayer goes much further than what we experience in these forms. It can, and should, permeate our lives as we intercede for others and present our own requests. The Apostle Paul, in his letter to the Romans, said, “Rejoice in your hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer” (RSV). Prayer is to be more than simply what we do when times are troublesome or when we are attending mass. Prayer is something we are able to participate in continually.
This is illustrated most poignantly in the Psalms, which are prayers put into song form. King David and the other psalmists often presented their requests to the Lord and sought His comfort in times of distress. We will look at some of these examples a little later on.
Because of our faith in Jesus Christ, we have access to the throne of God, before which we can go to ask for help, comfort or even simply be in His presence. Hebrews 4:15-16 tells us why this is possible, “For we have not a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin.
Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” Christ intercedes for us before the throne of God, and His work on the Cross and through the Resurrection has provided the way for us personally to approach God in prayer.
But what is prayer? According to the dictionary, prayer is “a solemn request for help or expression of thanks addressed to God or an object of worship.” Prayer is a profoundly spiritual act of worship and an expression of our gratitude for all that the Lord has done for us.
In addition, prayer has a number of benefits, not only for our spiritual well-being but also emotional and physical.
How a Christian Prayer Benefits Us
Let’s consider a few of the many benefits we can glean from spending time in prayer.
- Character Development – As we pray, spending time communing with God and meditating on His works and divine qualities, our minds are shaped to believe and know what is good and true. And as our minds are shaped and transformed, our attitudes and behaviors begin to change as well.
Have you ever observed that the type of people you spend the most time with are the ones whose attitudes and actions provide the strongest influence on your own? The same is true in our spiritual lives. Who we spend time with influences our thoughts and even the choices we make.
- Trust in God – When we pray, and spend time in God’s presence, presenting our requests to Him and laying our burdens at His feet, we also learn to trust Him more. We see this principle at play in our human relationships as well. We come to trust our friends or significant others by spending time with them and getting to know them.
The same is true when it comes to our relationship with the Lord – we trust God more as we get to know Him and spend time with him.
- Emotional Well-being – Prayer can calm our anxious thoughts and even give us hope in the midst of depression. This is a phenomenon that has been researched by psychologists and published in major psychology articles, but one that has been observed by many people of faith over the centuries.
The Psalms themselves illustrate the peace and hope that come from spending time in prayer.
- Developing Self-Control – Prayer is considered a spiritual discipline for a reason. It truly does take discipline to consistently spend time in prayer.
And the benefit is that as you and I develop the discipline of prayer, the practice of doing so becomes more easily transferrable to other areas of life, particularly the area of self-control.
- Physical Health – Prayer can also benefit our bodies. Prayer and meditation are known to reduce stress, slow the heart rate, and manifest other physical responses associated with better health and a reduction of illness.
- Puts Our Focus On Others – Another benefit of prayer is that it takes our focus off of ourselves and our concerns, instead placing our attention on the needs of others as well as on our Creator.
This provides a reprieve from our own worries and stresses but also allows us to act in love toward others by caring for their needs and worries above our own.
There can be no question that prayer is essential to our well-being, and that the Lord can use it in powerfully healing ways in our lives.
There are, of course, many ways to incorporate the practice of prayer into our lives. But I would like to focus on one in particular – meditation. This practice is, I believe, very helpful when experiencing anxiety and worry.
The Practice of Meditation in Christianity
Meditation, which is in essence prayerful reflection, is a practice that is easy to incorporate in your daily prayer routine. It includes the body in prayer, by incorporating breathing techniques and a calming of the body along with reflection on verses from the Bible.
The benefit of practicing meditation is that it can help you connect more with God. A number of the Psalms speak of this. Psalm 1:1-3 articulates the idea that the person who delights in the Word of God and meditates on it becomes “like a tree planted by streams of water, that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. In all that he does, he prospers” (RSV). In other words, when we meditate on the truths of God’s character and Word, it refreshes our souls and gives us the strength to continue. We are then able to prosper in the things we do without withering away from worry or stress in the midst of the challenging and ever-changing seasons of life.
Psalm 63 also provides a glimpse into the benefits of meditating. King David wrote this Psalm while in the wilderness of Judah, having essentially been exiled by King Saul. In it, he tells of how he longed for God’s presence, meditating on all the good things God had done in the past and how He had helped him and would enact justice in the future just as in days gone by.
Here, we learn that meditating on the good things God has done, the amazing works recorded in the Scriptures, reassures our troubled minds and hearts and gives us hope for the future.
What a wonderful thing to experience, particularly in the often wearying life we face!
A Guided Christian Meditation Script to Deal with Anxiety
In moments when I face feelings of anxiety and worry, I find that my soul feels refreshed and become calmer when I dwell on the goodness of God and the many things, He has done for me. I believe that His love and power is greater than what may be troubling me.
And the same applies to your situation as well. The God we love is greater than anything in life we may face. And He loves us infinitely and unconditionally, always being ready to show His presence in our lives.
Take some time to meditate on the words of Psalm 63 and allow it to guide your prayer. Feel free to add specific requests and praises:
“O God, you are my God; earnestly I seek you; my soul thirsts for you;
my flesh faints for you, as in a dry and weary land where there is no water.
I have looked upon you in the sanctuary, beholding your power and glory.
Because your steadfast love is better than life, my lips will praise you.
So I will bless you as long as I live; in your name, I will lift up my hands.
Lord, you are my God. I feel like I am parched – thirsting, and longing to be made new. I feel crippled by the worries and cares of this world. In many ways, I feel as if I am drowning in anxiety and fear.
But you, God, are the One who can quench my thirsty soul. You are the One who faithfully loves me. You are the Life-Giver, and You alone are the One who can make me feel new and refreshed again. It is in Your Presence that I am made whole.
I praise You because of Your abundant and unfailing mercies. For as long as I am alive, I will lift up my heart, voice, and hands to worship You.
“My soul will be satisfied as with fat and rich food, and my mouth will praise you with joyful lips,
when I remember you upon my bed and meditate on you in the watches of the night;
for you have been my help, and in the shadow of your wings I will sing for joy.
My soul clings to you; your right hand upholds me.”
Lord, You satisfy my every need – body, soul, and mind. I cannot do anything less than praise You for all that You have done for me. Whether I am awake or asleep, I know I can rest knowing that You are with me, keeping me safe in the midst of trouble. Guarding my soul.
You lift me up when life tears me down. You have long been my Help and Comforter. Continue to comfort me. Calm my fears and anxious thoughts. Help me to cling to Your unfailing love. Give me the strength to face whatever may come my way. You alone are my strength and protection.
“But those who seek to destroy my life shall go down into the depths of the earth;
they shall be given over to the power of the sword; they shall be a portion for jackals.
But the king shall rejoice in God; all who swear by him shall exult,
for the mouths of liars will be stopped.”
Lord, you are aware of the struggles in my life. You know my fears – whether found in the physical pains inflicted by others or the hurtful events and sorrows that have troubled my life. You know my anxious thoughts. You know each of these enemies, whether in the mind and heart or physical.
Guard my heart and mind. Protect me from anything that may seek to destroy me.
I know that You will pursue justice in my life. I have nothing to fear in Your Presence. All evils and troubles will pass away. All enemies and troublemakers will vanish. You are my refuge and the One in whom I can trust. Save me, protect me, fill my life with Your strong and comforting Presence.
A Free PDF of Christian Meditation Script for Anxiety
Below, you can download a free pdf of this script. Feel free to share it with your friends and family.