Sometimes the stress is so bad that when you close your door and try to focus on God, all you get is noise. Your neck is tense, your back feels knotted, and even though you’ve turned off every electronic, there is still noise – the noise in your mind.
How do you pray when you can’t get back to quiet? Here are a few steps that might help. They come from processes that I’ve worked through and also from recommendations from counselors.
- List your stress. Get a private notebook and write out a list of all your stresses.
- Look for losses. Make a list of every transition you’ve been through in the last few years. Go back through the list and write down what you lost in every transition.
- Look for sin. Do you have unforgiveness or other issues rooted in these stresses, transitions and losses? Take the time to ask God to review your heart in each situation. If you find something that needs to be fixed, fixed it – repent, forgive, do what needs to be done to get right with God, others and yourself.
- Lay the pain at God’s feet. Sometimes, you can’t get rid of the pain even when you do everything right. The human mind is complicated. Instead of trying to fix the problem, ask God to fix it. You serve a God “who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine” (Eph 3:20) – instead of trying to figure out the answer, ask God to clear your heart. He knows what will fix the pain and if you let Him, He will.
- Worship. In 2 Chronicles 20, Jehoshaphat was faced with an impossible situation. He prayed for God to save him, and then he marched out praising. (Well, he led the people to do the above.) While you are waiting for God to do His work, spend time in worship. God’s Spirit will talk to yours, and you will find His presence.
You were called by God, and your development includes times of horrible isolation. God hasn’t left you. He is with you and will carry you. Relax, go for a walk, worship and wait. He won’t let you down. You will again feel focused and on top. Today, you are learning to walk in trust and pain.