The blushing blossoms have withered and fallen from the tiny rosebush on the dining room table – quietly reminding us this place was never meant to be the wild rose’s home. I feel much the same: weary and aware that this world is not home. Staring at the shriveled bush, I utter a few prayers for peace of mind, and I come to a startling realization. . . .
I seem to expect this life to be free from trouble. All the while, the One who knit me together tells me to expect trouble.
Our troubles aren’t terrible, relatively speaking. Everyone in the house succumbs to a weird virus. My bad knee flares up. Our little girl’s mouth ulcers return. We worry about finances. It snows an inch and the school shuts down, and my writing plans for the day are scratched – again.
Always, I am surprised. Like it’s some big crisis.
Maybe this is where I have it all wrong. Every time life gets hard, I get stressed and slip into crisis mode.
How to Pray Prayers for Peace of Mind:
What if I learned to receive these circumstances with open hands instead of a wildly thrumming heart and veins pulsing with adrenaline?
What if it didn’t have to be a fight or flight scenario?
Imagine if I could breathe deeply and receive these troubled times as an expected part of the journey?
I expect I might be changed. I expect I might usher God’s kingdom to come – even if only into our little country home on the outskirts of town. But isn’t this where God’s mighty moves always begin – in the quiet place of obscurity?
I think long on these things while the shriveled rose bush sings her sad song, and I write these prayers for peace. I hope you will use these prayers to calm your racing heart and center your focus:
1. Father, grant me the peace of mind to receive what you send my way with an open heart.
When it comes to receiving God’s interruptions to my plans, I haven’t yet learned to thrive. But there is good news. God is big enough to guide me and help me in my weakness.
As I stare at the wilting bush, I pray for an open heart to receive the surprises of the day with less grit and more grace. I pray for the strength to lay down my desire for control. The woman who can receive God’s interruptions with an open heart and open hands is a woman of grace and peace. I’m praying to become this kind of woman.
2. Father, help me press close to you through life’s trials instead of turning to my own strength.
God makes his power perfect in my weakness. I’ve reminded myself of this promise hundreds – if not thousands – of times. Every time I press close to God to receive his strength, he responds by shrouding me with a kind of peace that surpasses understanding.
Every time I press close to God to receive his strength, he responds by shrouding me with a kind of peace that surpasses understanding.
3. Father, let me point others to you as I receive troubles with a peaceful countenance.
Others are always watching. I want God’s peace to reign in me in a way that stirs others to desire the peace they see in me. Sadly, this doesn’t happen when I’m uptight and snapping at anyone who comes within three feet of me.
God wants to work through our troubles to help us emerge changed. He then wants us to go into the world and help others with the help he has given us. When’s the last time someone asked where you find your astounding peace?
4. Father, help me exchange anxiety for peace.
What’s your response when trouble arises?
Do you struggle with the stress of surprises or anxiety that won’t relent?
Ask God to replace your anxiety for peace.
5. Father, help me exchange willfulness for willingness.
Willfulness is a state of wanting things to go your own way. Willingness is openness to the circumstances surrounding you.
One of the most powerful prayers for peace in my life goes something like this: “Father, help me accept the reality of my actual life.”
I started praying this prayer when our third child was a newborn. Scrambling to keep up with three kids – all while recovering from a C-section – was pushing me over the edge with anxiety. My hormones were feeding the fire, and anxiety was overtaking my body.
I stumbled into this prayer about accepting the reality of my actual life, and it changed everything.
I realized the reality of my actual life was that I didn’t have time in the day to accomplish the dozens of tasks on my mental to-do lists. My reality was tending to the needs of three young children. I expected to exercise for an hour, cook a full dinner, wash and fold two loads of laundry, scrub every floor, take everyone on a 2-mile walk, nurse the little one every two hours, and socialize with friends every day.
Looking back, I can see how ridiculous my expectations were.
Throughout that summer, God gently showed me that the reality of my actual life was much slower and smaller than I envisioned. I learned to slow my pace and lower my expectations. I exchanged willfulness for willingness.
My prayers for peace were answered.
This is an updated edition of a post originally published on Stacey Pardoe