I don’t know about you, but I can be so stuck in my head sometimes that my thoughts swirl and I forget my existence for a moment. This happened to me a couple years ago—consequently, I almost hit something as I attempted to pull into Panera! I was stressing about some personal things, my thoughts started swirling, I zoned out, and all of a sudden, I’m veering off course and heading toward a small fence. Fortunately, I snapped out of it before it was too late.
Here’s the bottom line: Deal with your emotions before your emotions deal with you.
My story shows what can happen when you don’t address your emotions. I was letting my anxiety and stress get the best of me. Before I got behind the wheel, I should have taken the time to pray and address my emotions. It’s a very effective way to release my stress, or whatever I am feeling. It helps me find freedom from toxic thoughts and prevents me from getting stuck in my head.
Today, we’re going to look at how David dealt with his emotions through prayer. How he identified them and gave them to God. Prayer is a time when we can unmask how we are feeling and ask God to work in us, no matter what.
David wasn’t perfect, but he consistently lived a life of humility. God considered him “a man after his own heart” (1 Samuel 13:14). What’s amazing is that we get a picture of David and his prayer life. David was authentic in how he prayed. To release his emotions, he was honest about his heart.
Here are some examples of David’s Prayers:
I am sick at heart. How long, O Lord, until you restore me?
He’s not faking. He’s telling God exactly how he feels—not because God doesn’t know, but because when we tell God, it also reveals to us how we feel.
You placed the world on its foundations so it would never be moved.
David was praying for consistency when he felt uncertain.
I am worn out from sobbing. All night I flood my bed with weeping, drenching it with my tears.
He was saying, “I am sad and depressed.”
Guard me as you would guard your own eyes. Hide me in the shadow of your wings.
David was saying, “God, I don’t feel safe. I’m being attacked. Protect me.”
Do you feel this today? There is hope! When you pray, tell God what is on your heart. Say it out loud. Journal about it. Express it in the way you connect best with God. It is not easy, and it can be uncomfortable at first. But once you unload that weight, you will experience clarity. And hopefully, you’ll avoid crashing by freeing yourself of those swirling, toxic thoughts.
When was the last time you became stuck in toxic thoughts? What happened?
What emotion do you struggle to release?
What holds you back from being authentic with God about your emotions?
Here are a couple of journaling practices that you can try to release emotions:
- Write a verse that resonates with you and pray about it.
- Name your emotion and then tell God about it.
Take 5-10 minutes this week to sit in silence and solitude to pray.
Heavenly Father, thank you for being a God I can be honest with and release my emotions to. It is not easy, God, but when I am real about my emotions, it keeps me from crashing when my toxic thoughts try to consume me. I want to deal with my emotions before they deal with me. I am taking this time to release my emotions and find freedom from toxic thoughts. David prayed that surely we will see your goodness while we are in the land of the living. I am looking to you, God, in the middle of whatever I am feeling today, to find your goodness. In Jesus’ name, amen.
This post was written by Rebecca Roberts, a regular contributor to the LivingItOut Bible Study.
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