By Bill Gaultiere © 2005, 2009, 2011
It is possible to learn to live worry free! The way into God’s peace is by looking to Jesus as you pray Scripture from your heart.
Praying Scripture helps us to rely on the presence of the Lord Jesus Christ and his kingdom in the midst of your daily life with its challenges. Of course, as part of this process we need the support of “Christ’s ambassadors” who minister God’s reconciliation to us, and they need the same from us (2 Corinthians 5:20).
Growing in God’s peace requires soul training. This begins with training your mind: “God will keep you in perfect peace when your mind is fixed on him” (Isaiah 26:3, paraphrase). What you think about and what you truly believe is a matter of your choices over time.
Through your mind you can access the other parts of your soul — your heart, your body, and your social connections — so that over time God’s peace permeates your whole being more and more.
An essential way to train yourself to trust deeply in the Lord and be ruled by the peace of Christ (Colossians 3:15) is to pray Scripture. As part of the therapy process for clients who are dealing with anxiety I teach them to renew their minds with Scripture.
Abiding in Prayer
Abiding in Prayer is a refreshing, healing way to pray Scripture. Jesus taught us to abide in him and in his words (John 15:4-7). To abide in (or meditate on) God’s Word is a spiritual discipline for renewing our minds and hearts that heals and transforms us to be more like Christ.
Meditating on Scripture is a perfect complement to Bible study. In Bible study I analyze the text to understand what it means in context and to discern the truth that God is teaching us. In meditation I marinate on a small portion of Scripture, turning it over and over in mind, seeking to listen to what God is saying to me and to apply his wisdom and grace to my life today.
Verses to Abide in God’s Peace
Here are some short, powerful prayers for peace from the Psalms and other places in the Bible. They can help you to more and more to live worry free! To begin try setting aside a few minutes or more of quiet solitude to meditate deeply on one of these verses of Scripture.
- Pick a verse to meditate on…
- Pray the words of the Bible verse slowly and gently…
- In solitude be quiet and still to abide in Christ’s presence… If your body twitches or your mind wanders in the silence don’t be distressed — just gently return your attention to slowly repeating the verse you’re praying.
- You may try doing your meditation as a Breath Prayer by breathing God’s Word in and out. Using your body (breathing) to help you pray will engage your mind and help you to relax yourself into God’s arms of love…
- After you’ve abided in prayer awhile do some “soul work.” “Make every effort to enter God’s rest” (Hebrews 4:11) particularly as it relates to a challenge you’re facing. What is something that you’re worried or stressed about? Identify this and tell God about it. Then submit the situation and it’s outcomes to the Sovereign Lord by imagining yourself in the stressful situation while praying the Scripture meditatively…
Bible Verses for Abiding in Prayer
Here are some powerful Scripture verses to marinate in. Ask God to guide you to one verse to go deep with today. Tomorrow you can work with another!
When you settle on the verse that God is leading you to for today memorize it so that you can meditate on it throughout the day. Let the Word wash renew your mind and quiet your heart in God’s presence (Romans 12:2, Ephesians 5:26).
- “You are a shield around me, O LORD; you bestow glory on me and lift up my head” (Psalm 3:3). “Let the peace of God guard your heart and mind in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:7). Imagine a half-circle head to foot shield protecting you in your battle and enabling you to lift your head high as you pray, “Peace of Christ be a shield around me.”
- “The Lord is my shepherd I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures; he leads me beside still waters. He restores my soul” (Psalm 23:1-3). Imagine it.
- “Father… into your hands I commit my spirit” (Psalm 31:5; Luke 23:46). Identify a concern or worry and pray it this way, “Father… into your hands I commit _______.”
- “Be still before the LORD and wait patiently for him; do not fret” (Psalm 37:7). “Be still before the Lord… do not worry… Be still before the Lord… do not be angry…. Be still before the Lord… do not be jealous… Be still before the Lord… do not ______.”
- “Be still, and know that I am God” (Psalm 46:10). Or pray, “Cease striving! Know that I am your God.” What are you straining to do? Speak God’s Word to yourself: “Cease striving! Know that I am your God.”
- “My soul finds rest in God alone… Selah.” (Psalm 62:5, 1). Breathe in as you whisper,”My soul finds rest in God alone…” Hold your breath as you appreciate the Word. Breathe out your stress as you whisper, “Selah.”
- “You rule over the surging sea; when its waves mount up, you still them… Peace! Be Still” (Psalm 89:9, Mark 4:39). Breathe in and out the words of Jesus: “Peace… Be still… Peace… Be still…”
- “He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty… He will cover you with his feathers and under his wings you will find refuge” (Psalm 91:1, 4). Imagine yourself in God’s care, as a chick cuddled by its mother.
- “Be at rest once more, O my soul, for the LORD has been good to you” (Psalm 116:7). In prayer tell God what you’re struggling with, how you’re feeling then say to yourself: “Be at rest once more, O my soul, for the LORD has been good to you.”
- “Lord, your will… Your way… Your time…” (inspired by Matthew 6:10). Use this little prayer to abandon to God the outcomes of situations and what people think. Identify something you are trying to “make happen” a certain way and then let it go to God in prayer: “Lord, your will… Your way… Your time…”
- “Let the peace of Christ rule in your heart” (Colossians 3:15). Breathe in to receive as you pray: “Peace of Christ…” Breathe out to cease trying to control things as you pray: “Rule in my heart.” “Peace of Christ… rule in my heart.”
- “I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry… I can do all things through him who gives me strength” (Philippians 4:12-13). Identify a particular problem you’re seeking to be delivered from and then pray to be the kind of person who rejoices in the Lord regardless of whether or not he delivers you. Pray, “I am content when I’m blessed with ______ or troubled with ______. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”
More Soul Shepherding
“31 Days to Freedom from Fear” presents 31 powerful Scriptures for meditation to encourage you to “Let the peace of Christ rule in your heart” (Colossians 3:15).
“Soul Shepherding is for you and your ministry”
Bill Gaultiere, PhD & Kristi Gaultiere, PsyD ~ Soul Shepherding ~ Irvine, CA