A Prayer for Stress

I struggled with anxiety and panic attacks for many years in high school and college, even as a believer. Stress and worry were just a part of my life, and I allowed them to move into my mind and become my permanent mental roommates. From money problems to relationship issues, if it became too much, you would find me curled up in a ball in the fetal position on the floor, hyperventilating until parts of my body went numb and crying until there were no more tears left.

After I graduated college, I began to walk closer with the Lord and study His Word like I never had before in my life. My mind was being renewed and over time, I began to trust the Lord with every care and worry and cast them upon Him like 1 Peter 5:7 tells us to do.

“Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.”

1 Peter 5:7, NIV

The other night when I experienced the panic attack, there was a brief moment where I was given the opportunity to resist the negative thoughts and take them captive and begin to talk to God like I had learned to do so many times before, but this time, I chose to let my mind run in circles. I was so familiar with the experience of a panic attack that I could literally feel it try to overtake me right before it happened. The dark cloud of what I believe was demonic oppression then blanketed my mind and then my whole body. If I would have remembered Philippians 4:6-7 or even 1 Peter 5:7, I would have realized that God offered me a solution to my anxious thoughts. A simple conversation with the Lord would have helped me centered my thoughts and would have brought immediate peace to the whirlwind in my mind.

If this describes your life at all, here is a prayer you can pray for when stress hits hard:

A Prayer for Stress

Lord, thank you that you want us to cast our cares on you. Thank you that there is nowhere I can go that you are not there with me. Thank you for having a hold of my life, even as I feel like everything is crumbling around me.

Lord, I confess that I have let stress take a hold of my life, rather than You. I have let stress control my mood, my attitudes and my actions. Lord, I repent of this! Please Father, help me see what is stressful in my life and hand it over to You. Help me not let the stress win out. Help me actively think on Your goodness to me. 

I am so hopeful for my eternity with you, Lord, where there will be NO more stress! Help me look back on all the ways You have rescued me from my stressful moments, and look in hope to the future where You will one day rid all stress, forever.

Help me live boldly in the truth of Your goodness and power today. Thank You, Lord. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.


A Prayer for Stress was originally featured on iBelieve.com.

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The Warmth of a Friend

Have you ever heard a statistic that just seemed to leave an imprint on your heart?

Recently, I heard someone say that 80% of babies in orphanages die because of a lack of compassionate, physical touch. Being a mom of two little ones, this statement obviously hurts my tender momma heart.

It does not take very long to see our children’s independence start to blossom. Understanding that my little ones won’t always be this small, I try to take advantage of all the cuddles and snuggles that I can get. I know that this has only strengthened my bond with both of my boys. Even medical professionals urge moms of newborns to enjoy times of “skin to skin,” which also aids in mother/baby bonding. Science has proven the release of Oxytocin, the “love drug,” occurs with physical touch and creates a lasting bond between humans.

As I let images of lonely, unloved little ones in those orphanages run through my being, I begin to wonder:

Do we ever outgrow the need for physical connection and affection?

In the age of hyper-technology and social media, we can communicate with anyone and everyone from around the globe, around the clock. It’s obvious that people still enjoy connecting with one another, not just as networking partners, but as friends. Right, Facebook?

But are we truly connected?

Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 (NIV) tells us the value of a friend:

“Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their labor.
For if they fall, one will lift up his companion.
But woe to him who is alone when he falls, for he has no one to help him up.
Again, if two lie down together, they will keep warm;
But how can one be warm alone?
Though one may be overpowered by another, two can withstand him.
And a threefold cord is not quickly broken.”

Over the years, I have to admit that I’ve allowed myself to rely on social media and texting to keep my friendships going. Although convenient, I have wondered why I’ve always felt short-changed. The reason is because my friendships on social media — merely texting my friends — will never allow them to pick me up when I fall or hold me when I’m “cold.”

The warmth of a hug or a shoulder to cry on or hands to hold when fervently praying for one another simply cannot be found online. No, we can only find that kind of affection face-to-face, enjoying the physical presence of a beloved friend.

I challenge you to join me in being intentional with physically spending time with our friends. 

Keep that coffee date on your calendar (don’t cancel it again!), go on a shopping trip with your girlfriends (even if it’s just window shopping), or cook dinner with your married friends (and put your phones away and enjoy the conversation during your meal together!).

It’s easy to say we “don’t have the time.” Well, it’s time to invest in our friendships and see them flourish into a lasting bond that could last a lifetime.

And that reminds me of another statistic I heard, one worth striving for: If a friendship lasts longer than seven years, psychologists say it will last a lifetime.

Let’s make it a priority to cultivate those types of long-lasting friendships; not just those we connect with on social media, but those who we can physically connect with on our journey as we grow older alongside one another, walking hand in hand, and holding each other up when we are weak. Let’s be those kinds of friends.


The Warmth of a Friend was first featured on incourage.me.

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Walking Through Postpartum Depression

Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you. I will help you. I will uphold you with my victorious right hand.

Isaiah 41:10, NLT

“Do you want to harm yourself or your baby?”

“No.”

“Okay. No Postpartum Depression then.”

That was the extent of my examination at my release from the hospital after my first son was born as well as at my six week postpartum check up with my doctor.

And since that seemed to be the only question I had been asked regarding the issue, I thought I was free and clear from the dreaded PPD.

But as the weeks went on, I began to experience behavior and emotions that did not seem normal. I was arguing with my husband (which we seriously seldom do) constantly over the most insignificant things and I felt like I had no support, even though that couldn’t have been further from the truth because my husband is the most supportive and selfless man I know. I would belittle him and snap at him at the drop of a hat. I was suffering continuously with anxiety attacks to the point of hyperventilation because I didn’t like who I was becoming.

My attitude went beyond the effects of the normal sleep deprivation you experience with a newborn- I felt out of control and miserable. When my son finally fell asleep, I was unable to doze off and would just stare at the ceiling until 4 AM.

I really noticed that there was a problem when I felt rage welling up inside me when my newborn would not stop crying, and I couldn’t console him whatsoever.

I then began to argue with God:

“When am I supposed to read my Bible? When am I supposed to have ‘quiet’ time with You? I need Your peace because I’m disconnected from the Vine, but how, Lord? How?”

Although I felt like a failure, somehow I knew that it wasn’t my fault.

I began to research hormonal imbalances after pregnancy and PPD symptoms. I discovered that there are more issues associated with commonly known PPD, such as PPA (Postpartum anxiety). The more information I read about the symptoms of PPD and PPA, the more I was aware of my behavior and the more I could control it, instead of it controlling me. As a Christian woman, I knew to also fight with prayer and focus on renewing my mind by listening to His Word day by day.

In addition to prayer, I reached out to PPD/PPA support groups and other Christian women who have walked through it. I also have been watching my diet because the food you consume also affects your endocrine system, the system that produces and releases hormones in your body, in major ways.

Everyone’s body and situation are different. Some women need to be put on medication and/or need to see a counselor.  Seek medical attention if you feel as if your symptoms are severe- you want to harm yourself or your baby. You are loved. You are not a failure.

Here is some advice that I learned during my recovery process:

Do not suffer in silence. Tell someone what you are going through. Don’t hesitate to ask for prayer or a listening ear. The enemy longs for you to stay in denial and allow your symptoms to worsen and drag you down into the pit of depression.
Get as much sleep as you can. Your brain needs to be recharged, so try to sleep 5-6 hours a night and nap when the baby does (this is really true) – the house work can wait. Your recovery is more important.
Avoid or limit caffeine. Try your best to cut back on your caffeine intake. I know, I know…I need my coffee! Unfortunately caffeine wreaks havoc on your endocrine system, so try to slow down or avoid how much coffee or soda you are drinking. Your body will thank you.
Laugh! Laughing keeps your endorphins up. Find a funny movie that you enjoy or watch silly videos on YouTube. Tim Hawkins is a favorite one for me!
Listen to the Bible or teaching. You most likely will not be able to sit down and do in-depth Bible studies or devotions like you used to and that’s okay. I have the Bible on my iPod and will plug it into some speakers and let it play throughout our house while I’m taking care of my son. Your mind must be renewed with the Truth so that you can combat the lies that the enemy tries to throw at you.
PRAY! Jesus has sent us the Holy Spirit to be our Comforter and Helper so don’t hesitate asking Him for comfort and help at all times. Sometimes all you can pray is “help” and help will come!

Like I said before, you are not a failure!

Not only have you experienced a drastic change in your body, your life is forever different with the new addition to your family. Walking through these hormonal/emotional changes is all about recovery. And thankfully, as a Christian woman, you do not have to walk alone. 

The Lord will help you and strengthen you. He is with you always and will see you through this! 


A version of Walking Through Postpartum Depression is also posted on theprayingwoman.com!

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