By Jessica Van Roekel, Crosswalk.com
The power of praying for calm does more than change our circumstances—it changes us. We find we experience a shift in perspective. It provides a place of stillness for our souls so that we can settle the racing thoughts. It allows an anxious heart to settle into a rhythm that beats in time to the drum of God’s faithfulness.
Stress fills this life. Any change in our lives, good or bad, brings a form of stress. There’s good stress and bad stress. We experience anxiety, hardship, fear, strain, and worry that threatens our sense of calm—but God is with us.
God with us is one of the central messages in the Bible. If God is with us, then we can rest in the assurance that we are not alone when stress comes banging at our heart’s door. And when it inevitably does, here are 7 prayers for calm:
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Prayer for Calm in the Middle of Stressful Storms
Lord, sometimes I forget that following you means trusting you to guide me safely to shore. The disciples in Luke 8:22-25 got in the boat because they trusted you and knew your heart for them. They didn’t expect danger and I didn’t either when I set out on this journey. I’m taken by surprise when a storm blows through the very path you’ve directed me to take. Somehow, I’ve lulled myself into thinking that if you’ve directed it then my way will be storm-free.
I realize that’s not the case, so I appeal to you to calm my storm the way you did for the disciples. Lord, speak to the wind and waves and say, “Peace.” I fear I won’t make it through to the other side if you don’t intervene. Speak peace and let there be calm. Grow my faith as I trust in you. Amen.
“The disciples went and woke him, saying, “Master, Master, we’re going to drown!” He got up and rebuked the wind and the raging waters; the storm subsided, and all was calm.”
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Prayer for Calm in a Stressful Desert
Lord, I find myself stuck in the desert place. My way seems littered with sharp rocks and every step I take fills me with pain. I’m searching for peace and refreshment and I can’t seem to find my way. My heart races—wondering if you’ve left me stranded here and if I will ever reach a spacious place of beauty and rest.
I pray that you would calm my heart’s frantic search for you. Let your peace overtake me as I remember that you lead me out of deserts to green pastures. Help me see how you turn my desert into a place of lush meadows. Calm my heart as I follow you.
“As they pass through the valley of Baca, they make it a place of springs; the autumn rains also cover it with pools. They go from strength to strength till each appears before God in Zion.”
“He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters.”
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Prayer for Calm When Facing a Stressful Enemy
Lord, I’m surrounded by my enemies and I don’t see an escape route. Do I give up or stand and fight? I’m not sure I can make my way through, but I know you can. I close my eyes and still my soul because you are my hiding place. You are my refuge and you make a way. Sometimes the way is through, and other times it’s retreat. But there’s another option.
In the presence of my enemies, you set a table filled with abundant goodness, joy, power, and peace. You invite me to feast without fear that my enemies will overcome me. You meet me here, in the midst of this stressful experience, and you provide enough of what I need.
“You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.”
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Prayer for Calm When Fearing Bad News
Lord, I don’t know if I can stand the suspense. I had those tests run and now I wait. I can’t think of anything else except the phrase, “What if...” and it repeats itself over and over again. I need your calm in the midst of the unknown. I know I can trust you, but I’m afraid. The stress of not knowing is enough to overwhelm me.
Help me trust you and surrender this, “what if...” to you so that peace floods my heart. Calm my mind and still my racing heart. Help me to trust you with my future.
“Those who trust in the Lord are like Mount Zion, which cannot be shaken but endures forever. As the mountains surround Jerusalem, so the Lord surrounds his people both now and forevermore.”
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Prayer for Calm When the World Overwhelms
Lord, this life’s troubles overwhelm me. Families shatter. Politicians sway. News reports devastate. Darkness grows. Grace seems to hide. Do my efforts matter? What’s the point in keeping on when all I want to do is curl up in a ball and hide? Your presence sustains me in this difficult time and I rely on your strength to stand up and stand firm.
Grow my faith so I am not swayed by despair. Calm my heart as it rests in you and let me know that you are near.
“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.”
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Prayer for Calm in Relationships
Lord, I’m struggling because there isn’t peace in all my relationships. It seems like I can’t do anything right or that I’m over-annoyed by others. Sometimes loving others is too hard because I fight my own battles of knowing what I need to do and not doing it. This makes me feel like a fraud and a fake. It hurts when others grow frustrated with me because I don’t live up to their expectations.
I surrender my relationships to you. Flood me with your calm and peace so that I can love others as you love. You have my back and you go before me to make a way. I trust and follow you, and wait for you to intervene in these difficult relationships. Help me to live at peace and honor you.
“Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.”
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Prayer for Calm When You Feel Attacked
Lord, I feel persecuted and under attack. I don’t know how much longer I can take these attacks against my character, my beliefs, and my stance for righteousness. But you are stronger than the mightiest oak, the mightiest wind, and the craziest storm. You are my hiding place and rescue. My heart breaks because of the slander against me. Heal my heart and fill me your presence as I hide in you. You are my calm place where my heart finds healing.
“And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
When stress takes over, it’s easy to reach for quick comforts like food, entertainment, substances, or relationships. We often make Christ our last resort. But he’s the only certainty in an uncertain world. He is the way, the truth, and the life. He holds light for our darkness; strength for our weariness; and calm for our racing hearts.
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Jessica Van Roekel leads worship in her local church and writes at www.welcomegrace.com. She believes that through Christ our personal histories don’t have to define our present or determine our future and writes about the transforming power of grace. Jessica lives in a rural setting surrounded by farmland and her husband and children. You can connect with her on Instagram and Facebook.