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What to pray when you feel yourself shutting down

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It's happening--the emotional shut-down is coming!

Have you ever felt this way? I have.

Here are a couple suggestions and a prayer:


Pace yourself to prevent feeling overwhelmed; plan down-time, with non-productive or creative activities.Pray and read your Bible. You need God's presence to re-orient you within a world that never stops pressuring you.Talk to a professional or wise friend or mentor. Venting only feels good temporarily and then reinforces your negative outlook. Hearing the truth and believing it will set you free.Hang out with affirming close friends & family. Your tendency when life is tough will be to isolate yourself; that's when the negativity grows. And now a prayer for renewal:
Dear Lord Jesus,
You understand what it means to be tired, overwhelmed, depressed, and frustrated. That's how I feel.
Please guard my heart and mind, Holy Spirit,  from believing the lies that I'm not enough, that I can't do this, that I should give up, hide, shut down, lash …

Prayer of Focus: Turn Your Eyes On Jesus

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Lord Jesus,
Clear away all the darkness from my mind,
all the petty jealousies and regrets,
the self-doubt and self-loathing
(aka. the pride),
the insecurity and fear,
the ambition and greed,
the self-absorption and self-promotion.

Holy Spirit,
Help me focus on Jesus only.
His love.
His sacrifice.
His calling.
Only He matters.

Amen.

Read these beautiful words from the old hymn "Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus" by Helen Howarth Lemmel and/or listen to Lauren Daigle sing the song on her album Look Up Child. (2018)

"Turn your eyes upon Jesus.
Look full in His wonderful face.
and the things of this earth will grow strangely dime
in the light of His glory and grace."


A Prayer following Rachel Held Evans' death

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The death of a good person generally doesn't make sense. It's never the right time. Someone is always too young. No answer to your "why?" is ever sufficient, if it gets answered at all.

Grief is always unbearably hard.

Rachel Held Evan's death doesn't make sense. It wasn't a good time. She was too young. She was accomplishing so much.

When something tragic happens, all I know to do is pray (which is sometimes simply a rhetorical "why????" and that's okay.)

If you're grieving, give prayer a try.



Dear Lord,

Comfort Rachel Held Evans' family, friends, and readers at her sudden death.
Comfort those of us who grieve whenever we feel another's loss fresh with pain.
You can't make us understand,
so just help us to trust you with our loss and our grief.
Use this and every sorrow to bind us closer to you
and find solace and faith in trusting your love for us
and your continued plan to prosper us as your children.
Help us to only depend …

A prayer of spiritual warfare over children's health

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Dear Father-God,

You know what it is to love a son,
give a son,
and lose a son,
so you know what parents go through
when they're worried about losing their kids
spiritually,
emotionally, or
physically.

There are so many ways,
so many paths toward harm,
so many intersections of peril
where the world and the enemy in it
try to snatch up our children,
where the devil speaks lies about our love for them.

I pray your power, love, and dominion
over my children's lives.
You have them,
and you have a plan for them,
even if they don't follow you or your plans.
You will make beauty from the ashes in their lives.

But, oh, I hate the ashes.

Help me trust you with my children.
Help me trust you with my friends' children.
Help me to lament and request in faith,
knowing you love them even more than we do.

On behalf of hurting children,
I pray for patience in affliction,
healing from sickness,
relief from pain,
comfort in sadness,
hope in hopelessness.

In Jesus' name, I pray again…

How to pray a Bible verse when you're grieving

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When grief rolls over you like an ocean, you often don't know what to do except cry and pray.

The problem is usually that you don't know what to pray. You have no words, but your heart longs to cry out.

In times like these, I pray Bible verses. I figure if God inspired them, then they speak the truth He wants to hear. And since the Bible is full of people who prayed prayers of grief, I have plenty to pick from.

Today I found this little gem in Isaiah 25:8-9. Look it up to see the actual words (part of a poem).

Below is Isaiah 25:8-9, made into a prayer of grief:

Oh, Lord,

I believe you came to swallow up death forever.
Could you come and wipe away my tears today?
Remove my disgrace, my shame, my heartache from
being remembered in my life and in this world.

Let people remember me for your influence on my life.
Transform my grief into purpose and blessing.
You have declared this to be your passion.

Someday, people will say,
"Look at what God did through her.
She trusted in …

A Good Friday prayer of praise and thanks

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Dear Jesus Christ,

Thank you for making the ultimate sacrifice--
for accepting the call as Savior of the world.

You took on human likeness, when you were God himself,
and subjected yourself to human pain and suffering.
You loved us so much that you took our sins on yourself
and felt them--held-them--
and died in them, after a day and a night of torture, abuse, and abandonment.

It was all wrong--all unjust--
and yet you agreed to it because you loved us.

You did that for me.

Thank you.
I can only feel overwhelmed by your love
and convicted by your grace.
I am so unworthy you.

And you so patiently wait for me,
call me,
and protect me,
even when I don't answer and don't want you.

Oh, Lord Jesus!
I love you more every day,
but I will never understand the depth of your love for me.

I worship you.
Amen.

Second-most popular prayer

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What kind of prayer do you pray most often?

Requests, probably. Me, too.

Requestsare my website's most-clicked on kind of prayer. It seems we're all looking for the right way to ask God to help us.

Guess what the second-most popular prayer is?

Lamentation.The lament.

I love that. I have an audience of grievers and groaners. Praise God.

Learning to lament has been one of the most impactful aspects of my spiritual growth. Instead of crying in sorrow, lamenting teaches you to cry out to God (that's the literal meaning of lament). Lamentation is faith in action, maybe even more than when I make a request.

When I lament, I dump my heavy burdens, my grief, and my hopelessness at God's feet and say something like,

"I don't know what you're doing in my life right now, but help me trust you. I choose to believe you will work all things together for my good. But oh, God, this hurts so much. Cover me with your Spirit!"

When I make a request, I am hoping and believi…