How to Turn Worry in to Peace


I got an email with that as the subject line. Now, that will get your attention, won’t it?

It was from a woman whom I will call Veronica. She says she is a chronic worrier and has panic attacks. She reads her Bible and prays, but speaks really damaging self-talk to herself.


She needed some encouraging advice…

So, I spilled the beans on how to turn worry in to peace through prayer.

Dear Jennifer,

I am constantly worrying about anything and everything, having panic attacks, thinking about getting stressed, and it wears me out physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually.

I pray, read my Bible, I get out and about, etc.

But, I don’t know how to stop myself from worrying.

I fear it will just keep getting bigger and bigger until it controls my life. It does in some areas already today.

I know God is more powerful than anything I fear or worry about, but I have a bad habit of listening to my thoughts and emotions. I don’t believe I’ll ever be in control of my fears and, therefore, my life.

I know God is more powerful than anything, but how do I deal with constant worry and fear?
[Click to Tweet]
I’ve been going through this for years. Some years were easier than others, and I have made progress in some areas. But, I still go back to those thoughts and feelings of having irrational fears and, then, I get frustrated and discouraged for a time. It comes and goes.

Is this natural and just part of being human in a fallen world?

If you look at me, I seem to be fine and have it all together, but inside my mind I’m going through fight or flight mode. Do you have any encouraging advice for me?

Thanks a lot! Veronica

How to Turn Worry in to Peace
[Click to Tweet]
My answer: Dear Veronica,

I am so sorry you are so weighed down with worry. Oh, I think it is a natural part of being human. But, God can accomplish the supernatural!

I am not an expert so I can’t really give advice, but here are some thoughts and, possibly, encouragement:

Worrying is a form of meditating.

Have you ever thought of it like that? You know, when you worry, you mull over your fears, focus on what concerns you, constantly think about your trouble, run through the situation in your mind over and over and over and over… See what I mean? That is what we do when we meditate. When we meditate, we mull things over, focus our mind, fixate on a subject, and ruminate on it constantly.

When we worry, we mull things over and over, fixate on a subject, and meditate on it constantly.
[Click to Tweet]
So, what if the moment worry pops up, you choose to turn that “worry meditation” into “truth meditation”? Memorize a few Scriptures that bring you comfort and peace and meditate on those verses as a substitute for worrying.

Or, what if you take that worry and rephrase it into a prayer?

Worry usually begins with “What if”…

…but, you can rephrase worry into a prayer by replacing “what if” with the phrase “what is.”  The truth is “what is.”

When worry starts to chatter in your brain, turn it into a prayer.
[Click to Tweet]
Again, make a list of scriptural truths that affirm “what is.” Such as: God is faithful, God is the One who supplies all my needs, etc. That way, when worry starts to chatter in your brain, you turn it into a prayer: “Dear God, You are faithful and You will provide. I will be anxious for nothing, but in everything, through prayer and petition, I will make my requests to You.” See?  That prayer is based on what is. “What if’s” are pure speculation.

I am not quick to recommend what I have written to anyone just for the sake of mentioning one of my books. I usually feel a tinge of discomfort at the thought of possible self-promotion — I really don’t like that. But, honestly, in this case, I feel I must recommend either my Self Talk, Soul Talk book or the Me, Myself, and Lies Bible study to you because in each I really deal with this in a deeper way.

And, the whole reason I wrote those resources is because I lived them — I had really destructive self-talk and worry often got the best of me. I want you to be free, my sister! God used His Word to set me free. He can do that for you too.

Memorize scriptures that bring you comfort and peace. Meditate on those verses as a substitute for worry.
[Click to Tweet]
Most importantly, may our God of all comfort, comfort you and may His Spirit, the Spirit of Truth, lead you into all Truth.

Peace to you my sister, Jennifer

Question: Got any other encouraging words for our sister? We all deal with worry so leave a comment about what you have learned and what has helped you overcome or deal with worry.

Self Talk, Soul Talk Me, Myself, and Lies

Go deeper into this week's question in my Bible Study Bistro Facebook group. There's a community of 4:13ers waiting for you!