Disclaimer: This post is not intended to undermine the reality of clinical anxiety. As someone who has personally benefited from both counseling and medicinal help when battling anxiety, please know my heart on this. I strongly encourage you to seek professional counsel if you are struggling: there is absolutely no shame in needing help!
Anxiety is a part of life for most people. The range of anxious feelings is wide—nerves before an exam, the anxiety of pregnancy after loss, that feeling in your stomach when your child drives away solo for the first time, or right before you have a difficult conversation with someone you love.
In my own times of anxiety I have found great consolation in the Living Word. Time spent in prayer and with Jesus truly present in the Blessed Sacrament have bore great fruit in my heart.
Scripture Verses to Pray During Times of Anxiety
Below you will find a collection of lines from Scripture that I hope will be a comfort to you, as they have been to me.
I also invite you to open your Bible, look up the verses, and read the surrounding passages for context and additional words that may lift your spirit.
Do Not Be Anxious
The Lord clearly invites us out of our anxiety and tells us not to worry. Here are some Scripture verses to pray when you want to hear the Lord’s voice regarding anxiety:
// “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat [or drink], or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds in the sky; they do not sow or reap, they gather nothing into barns, yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are not you more important than they? Can any of you by worrying add a single moment to your life-span? Why are you anxious about clothes? Learn from the way the wild flowers grow. They do not work or spin. But I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was clothed like one of them. If God so clothes the grass of the field, which grows today and is thrown into the oven tomorrow, will he not much more provide for you, O you of little faith? So do not worry and say, ‘What are we to eat?’ or ‘What are we to drink?’ or ‘What are we to wear?’ All these things the pagans seek. Your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom [of God] and his righteousness, and all these things will be given you besides. Do not worry about tomorrow; tomorrow will take care of itself. Sufficient for a day is its own evil.” Matthew 6:25-34
// “Have no anxiety at all, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, make your requests known to God. Then the peace of God that surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7
// “I should like you to be free of anxieties.” 1 Corinthians 7:32a
// “Do not fear: I am with you; do not be anxious: I am your God. I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my victorious right hand.” Isaiah 41:10
// “No trial has come to you but what is human. God is faithful and will not let you be tried beyond your strength; but with the trial he will also provide a way out, so that you may be able to bear it.” 1 Corinthians 10:13
// “Cast all your worries upon him because he cares for you.” 1 Peter 5:7
Clearly, our loving Lord does not desire for us to be anxious. So what can we do when that feeling starts to well up within us? I am confident God wants to hear about it. When you are fighting the battle of anxiety, these verses may be an expression of your own heart:
// “Answer me when I call, my saving God. When troubles hem me in, set me free; take pity on me, hear my prayer.” Psalm 4:2
// “How long, Lord? Will you utterly forget me? How long will you hide your face from me? How long must I carry sorrow in my soul, grief in my heart day after day? How long will my enemy triumph over me?” -Psalm 13:2-3
// “My God, my God, why have you abandoned me? Why so far from my call for help, from my cries of anguish? My God, I call by day, but you do not answer; by night, but I have no relief.” Psalm 22:2-3
// “Relieve the troubles of my heart; bring me out of my distress.” Psalm 25:17
// “Suddenly a violent storm came up on the sea, so that the boat was being swamped by the waves; but he was asleep. They came and woke him, saying, ‘Lord, save us! We are perishing!’” Matthew 8:24-25
I want to have a heart that trusts the Father so deeply I need never be anxious. I want to have the courage of our Blessed Mother and so many of the Saints. The verses below help increase my trust in our good and faithful God and strengthen my resolve when anxiety tries to weigh me down.
// “The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom should I fear? The Lord is my life’s refuge; of whom should I be afraid?” Psalm 27:1
// “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, on your own intelligence do not rely; in all your ways be mindful of him, and he will make straight your paths.” Proverbs 3:5-6
// “No one can withstand you as long as you live. As I was with Moses, I will be with you. I will not leave you nor forsake you. I command you: be strong and steadfast! Do not fear nor be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:5, 9
// “I consider that the sufferings of this present time are as nothing compared with the glory to be revealed for us. For creation awaits with eager expectation the revelation of the children of God; for creation was made subject to futility, not of its own accord but because of the one who subjected it, in hope that creation itself would be set free from slavery to corruption and share in the glorious freedom of the children of God.” Romans 8:18-21
// “For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor present things, nor future things, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:38-39
// “Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am meek and humble of heart; and you will find rest for yourselves. For my yoke is easy, and my burden light.” Matthew 11:28-30
// “I bless the Lord who counsels me; even at night my heart exhorts me. I keep the Lord always before me; with him at my right hand, I shall never be shaken.” Psalm 16:7-8
// “Because you have the Lord for your refuge; you have made the Most High your stronghold, no evil shall befall you, no affliction come near your tent. For he commands the angels with regard to you, to guard you wherever you go. With their hands they shall support you, lest you strike your foot against a stone.” Psalm 91:9-12
There is great value in claiming truth and proclaiming it over our lives and the lives of those we love. In times of anxiety, try praying these verses aloud over yourself or a loved one as a blanket of protection.
// “For he is our peace.” Ephesians 2:14
// “The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I lack. In green pastures he makes me lie down; to still waters he leads me; he restores my soul.” Psalm 23:1-3
// “For I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future with hope.” Jeremiah 29:11
// “The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” John 1:5
// “Draw your strength from the Lord and from his mighty power. Put on the armor of God so that you may be able to stand firm against the tactics of the devil.” Ephesians 6:10-11
// “But now, thus says the Lord, who created you, O Jacob, and formed you, O Israel: Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name: you are mine. When you pass through the water, I will be with you; in the rivers you shall not drown. When you walk through fire, you shall not be burned; the flames shall not consume you. For I am the Lord, your God, the Holy One of Israel, your savior. Because you are precious in my eyes and glorious, and because I love you.” Isaiah 43:1-3a, 4a
// “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give it to you. Do not let your hearts be troubled or afraid.” John 14:27
While we are on the subject, I also highly recommend the book Searching for and Maintaining Peace by Fr. Jacques Philippe. The short but overwhelmingly rich book was a transformative, life-changing read for me.
Praise the Lord
One afternoon I sat anxious in a doctor’s office. As I was praying about my concerns in that moment, the Lord give me an invitation: “worship over worry,” I heard Him say. Wow, I thought. Yes! I can waste my time worrying, or I can spend my time in worship of the Lord who loves me beyond my wildest imagination.
The Psalms are a beautiful place to find examples of this. The Psalmist often cries out in heartache and lament, only to praise the Lord verses later. Psalm 34 is one of my favorite Psalms to pray in praise of our sovereign God. I invite you to pray it in its entirety, but I found these lines particularly moving:
// “I will bless the Lord at all times; his praise shall be always in my mouth.” Psalm 34:1
// “I sought the Lord, and he answered me, delivered me from all my fears.” Psalm 34:5
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