To stress is to be human. But as Christians, do we deal with it differently than others? Let’s talk about how to deal with stress as a Christian.
In the next few paragraphs, I’m going to:
- Provide a simple yet often overlooked answer
- Give more context to its power
- Opine about how we often neglect this powerful solution
- Finally, I’ll share an example of how this played out in my life during a particularly stressful few days I had recently
How do we deal with stress as Christians?
(If you’d rather watch this content:)
The simple answer: pray.
I told you it was simple. On the surface it is. But there is more to it than we often think, especially when we are in the midst of stress.
What does prayer do for us?
- Shifts our focus to the Almighty, and thus, away from our troubles momentarily (see 1 Peter 5:6-7)
- Puts us in conversation with God
- Fulfills the commands of Scripture (Luke 18:1-8, 1 Thessalonians 5:17)
- Gives us a peace we wouldn’t have otherwise (Philippians 4:6-7)
Prayer is so powerful because it allows us to humble ourselves to ask the God of the universe for help. So why do we often neglect prayer in our time of greatest need?
We’re too self-important and prideful.
We think we can solve it all on our own. Am I the only one that has felt that way? If we could, why would stress be such a dominant force in our lives? It should serve as a reminder of our own limitations as humans.
We’re “too busy.”
I’m guilty of this one. More often than I care to admit. When facing a day that I know is going to throw me for a loop, how often do I choose to “just get started” on the list and the problems, rather than taking a few minutes on my knees to humble myself before God, acknowledging that I need His help?
We don’t realize how transformational prayer is.
Until you’ve embraced prayer to address your stress, you may not realize the peace and the power that has been available to you all along. Once you do, and you start to receive the benefits of prayer (see the Scriptures linked above), then it slowly becomes clearer why this is how to deal with stress as a Christian.
How to deal with stress as a Christian: a personal example
We all go through days and seasons of stress. Here is something that happened to me recently.
As I was approaching the time of the month when two of my biggest work deadlines arrive, I got sick. It was a cold that came bundled with fatigue, and I didn’t have the energy to work. Plus, my strategy is always to beat sickness with vitamins, minerals, supplements and REST.
For three days, I was barely able to do anything, as the deadlines encroached. The week of the deadlines arrived, and I was still feeling under the weather.
Not only did I have those to contend with, but I was working out the details with a new client, with whom I was pioneering a brand-new service offering for my social media marketing business.
The day before the deadlines came and I was navigating more than I could handle:
- Still recovering from sickness
- Navigating several unknowns with new client
- Figuring out not one, but two new software subscriptions I needed to get her work done
- Issues with customer service on one of the software providers
- Complications with posting on one of her social media platforms
- Navigating my lack of knowledge on using a new post scheduling tool (having to watch YouTube videos to figure it out)
- Plus, the stress of my normal deadlines, being behind when I had been sick for several days
- I hadn’t heard back from a client on a few key issues necessary to complete my assignments
Words don’t adequately describe how I was feeling that day, but I was in over my foggy head. I’ve been down this road of stressful workdays often enough that either it’s starting to get through my thick head, or perhaps it was a gentle nudge from the Holy Spirit.
“Summer, you’re freaking out. This is way too many things to deal with at once. You need to pray.”
I got the message. And I prayed. I stopped to thank the Lord for His goodness (having too much work to do is a blessing, after all – especially for a business owner), and I lifted my concerns to Him while asking for peace, clarity and wellness to get through it.
Do you know what happened afterward? I felt a sense of calm and determination. Remember Philippians 4:6-7?
I was realistic about the challenges ahead of me, but I made up my mind to tackle them one problem at a time. If memory serves, I even fit a power nap in that afternoon. Those are an important part of my routine. 🙂
Here I am, having lived to tell about the most stressful day in recent memory. Once again I thank God for His gracious kindness in instructing us to pray, and being faithful to fulfill His promises to His children when we do.
So how do we deal with stress as Christians? The answer itself is simple. The application is where things get interesting. But it is my wish for you, dear reader, that you remember to humble yourself before God when life gets stressful. It is the best thing you can do.
Is there a time when prayer helped you? I’d love to hear about it in a comment!
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