Expectant Prayers ®

Jennifer Jo Weiss

When Anxiety Attacks

Your heart begins to race, your chest tightens up, your throat closes off, your heart pounds, you can feel your pulse in your hands, feet, and neck, you can't breathe.... anxiety attacks.

I don't know if you've ever experienced anxiety attacks or not, but recently... I have. 

No one knows definitively what causes anxiety to strike.  Triggers vary according to the individual.  Some likely culprits can be stress, medical conditions, or trauma.  I know my anxiety was a result of the traumatic events that were happening in our house over November and December. 

Anxiety can be a natural way for our bodies to react, especially when we have had trauma or unhealthy loads of stress in our lives.  Just like when your body's nerves react to heat to tell you you're too close to the flame, or when we sweat when we get too hot, anxiety is our body's God-built way of telling us that we have been affected by something and need to slow down and take it easy. 

As of about a week ago, I noticed that I wasn't having attacks anymore... praise the Lord!  They tapered off gradually until I didn't even notice anymore.  I had to stop and think of the last time I felt anxious!  I'm sure that God isn't through healing my hurts and emotions, but I can sit here and testify today that I feel whole again.   God still works in the lives of His people and leads them beside the STILL waters!

There are times when people are gripped with an unhealthy or enemy-induced anxiety that comes on for no reason at all... or so it seems.  For example, maybe the enemy starts in your mind with suggestions and then feeds those insecurities with fear or doubt.   Or, unhealthy levels of anxiety that you can't seem to shake no matter what you seem to do.  They seem to have the same root... the devil.
Obviously, if you can't pinpoint a cause for your anxiety, you may suspect that the enemy is at work.  If this describes you, begin to pray that the Lord will reveal to you the cause of your woes!   He should be the first person we consult in times of crisis.   He has overcome all things.  Anxiety is not greater than God.  He fashioned out bodies and knows how to heal them!

Some who have known that our family was going through battles have asked me how I fought the anxiety.  I'll tell was only by God!  I don't have any "magic cures" or "patterns to follow", but I'll share some of my process.  I don't know if I'll remember everything, but I'll touch on what stuck out to me:

1.)  I quieted myself from all distractions and got alone with God.  I was blessed to be able to do this because we were on Christmas break... but I know God had it all planned out.  I also canceled everything that wasn't necessary, including phone calls.  I am sure that this was one of the biggest reasons God was able to work in our lives (especially me) so quickly.  This may not be true of everyone's situation, but in ours, it was totally necessary to get alone for prayer and healing.  It all depends on how severe the situation is and what God is telling you to do.  This is what we felt led to do.

2.)  Daily prayer and seeking Him through prayer.   I was totally dependent on Him to see my through.  I did this individually and continued to read and pray with the family.  We had plenty of people here to agree with in prayer and God met us daily as we sought His face.

3.)  Cutting out things in the day that would add to stress... even the TV was off during this time... relaxing, getting more rest, and trying to eat as healthy as possible.  I drank a lot of water to stay hydrated.  BUT, I also fasted some during this time.

4.)  We plastered verses all over the house to remind us of God's healing and promises.

5.)  I journaled my feelings, fears, doubts, etc. and then would pray over them.  This is a private way of expressing your anxieties.

6.)  I communicated with my husband frequently and didn't allow things to bottle up inside me.  This was a more "public" way of expressing my anxieties.

7.)  We enlisted a few family and friends to confide in and pray with through this time.  It helps keep you on track and gives you agreement in prayer.

8.)  I would give my anxieties to Him when they would arise, as Scripture tells us to. 

If you feel overwhelmed by anxiety, please begin to pray that the Lord will direct your path!  Don't be afraid to enlist the help of a trusted Pastor or to visit your doctor if conditions persist.  This doesn't mean you're a failure or less of a Christian!  All it means is that you're smart enough to know when you can't handle things on your own. 
It is still God who heals, but sometimes He uses doctors and medicines to aid in our healing.

My prayers this week are for those of us out there that have faced or are currently facing the fiery darts of anxiety attacks.  May God continue to heal and give us peace!  May He gently lead us into wholeness and restoration.   May His Spirit overshadow us and comfort us, providing a safe shelter for our spirits!  

Peace and blessings to you today, friends!

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