Day 5

A Prayer When Battling Anxiety

from the Psalms for Prayer reading plan


Psalm 27:1-14

BY Guest Writer

Scripture Reading: Psalm 27:1-14

Perhaps you’ve heard it said that in a storm, any harbor will do. When the tidal waves of life threaten to capsize our little ships, we will look anywhere for respite, often seeking shelter in places that cannot ultimately protect us. Age has alerted me to an alarming truth: the waters of life are almost always choppy. Smooth-sailing days are rare in a world as broken as ours.

Here in Psalm 27, we see David sending out the distress signal. He is looking for a lighthouse to point him toward shore. He starts with a pep talk, saying, “The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear?” (v. 1). But the answer to his question must have made his knees wobble. I can imagine him now, penning words of praise with one hand, while anxiously chewing his fingernails on the other.

Through the storm of his own anxiety, he saw an army positioned to take him out. In David’s case, this army may have been literal, but we all know how it feels to be surrounded, hard pressed on every side (2 Corinthians 4:8). We see serious threats against our hearts and homes every day. But we can’t fight our fears by convincing ourselves there’s nothing to be afraid of. There is! The list of rational fears is so significant, there’s not a bucket of sand big enough for us to bury our heads and fully hide from the threat.

Recently, in my own life, physical, relational, and emotional forces collided to create the perfect storm. Many of my worst fears were realized, and my anxiety that there was more to come left me frantically searching for safe harbor. As all other life rafts sunk around me, I finally clung to God’s Word. As His truth anchored me, I found myself locking eyes with the disciples when they faced the storm.

“And they woke him and said to him, ‘Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?’ And he awoke and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, ‘Peace! Be still!’ And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm. He said to them, ‘Why are you so afraid? Have you still no faith?’ And they were filled with great fear and said to one another, ‘Who then is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?’” (Mark 4:38-41 ESV, emphasis mine).

Any hope that we can calm the storms of life on our own is misplaced. We cannot. But we will find ourselves buoyed when we look for the One no storm can stand against. Ultimately, the disciples clung to the same truths that David did—the same truths that you and I can cling to:

God is faithful.
His care is relentless.
His promises are true.
His presence is the only place where our fears truly subside.

Our hope is not that the day of trouble will not come, because it will. But our God will see us through. No calamity can untether us from God and His Word. Never. When anxiety twists our stomach in knots, when we look around and see an army of threats, not just any harbor will do. But this one will:

The Lord is good, a stronghold in the day of trouble; he knows those who take refuge in him (Nahum 1:7).

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Erin Davis is an author, blogger, and speaker who loves to see women of all ages run to the deep well of God’s Word. When she’s not writing, you can find Erin chasing chickens and children on her small farm in the Midwest.

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102 thoughts on "A Prayer When Battling Anxiety"

  1. Elizabeth Morris says:

    This is just what I needed to read. I had my first baby this week, a baby girl. While I couldn’t be more in love with her, the fears and anxieties that have come with her can be overwhelming. After reading, I went back to verse 4:

    4One thing have I asked of the Lord,
    that will I seek after:
    that I may dwell in the house of the Lord
    all the days of my life,
    to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord
    and to inquire in his temple.

    This gives me a prayer for myself to trust the Lord to be with me always, and it also gives me a prayer to pray for my little girl that she will find the Lord and dwell in the house of the Lord. All the other worries seem so small compared to her finding Jesus as her Savior.

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