Anxiety and prayer?


#1

Hi all,

I’ve not posted in this part of the forums yet but I am excited about it! Regardless, my question is whether or not any here have experienced anxiety in prayer? Basically many times when I go to pray I’ll experience a lot of anxieties that involve worrying about the words I am saying in my heart, if I pray out loud worrying if I am really praying with me heart when I say the words, and when I am meditating interiorly whether I am really seeking God, things like that. Has anyone experienced it?

It can be very tiring and can also lead to wanting to give up at times. Is it just a matter of having to grow in trust and faith in Our Lord? Is it scruples?

I’ll be happy just to know I’m not alone in this difficulty :slight_smile:

Pax Christi tecum!


#2

Dear Strugglingalong,

Have you read St. Therese of Lisieux’s book, Story of a Soul? (I’m told that the translation by John Clarke, OCD, is very good, available from the Institute of Carmelite Studies: icspublications.org/bookstore/lisieux/b_lisieux01.html)).

Ask St. Therese to intercede for you and to help you grow in your relationship with God. Her “little way” is about trust, abandonment to God’s loving mercy, etc.

The more we make acts of trust, for example, “Lord, I’m worried that I’m not praying with my heart right now, but I trust in your love and mercy, and that whatever I can offer you will bring pleasure to you”, the more we will move from focusing on ourselves to focusing back on God. The temptations to worry really are a form of looking at ourselves, when really we should be looking at God. You could picture yourself as a little child on the lap of the Father…imagine that He isn’t really bothered by all of our little foibles and imperfections…what matters most is that we allow Him to love us…and to do that, we just need to make acts of trust, to move from being focused on ourselves to being focused on Him…

I hope this makes sense. Just my 2 cents. I just happened to listen to a 4-hour mini-retreat…two times…on a long road trip, and it was about the Spiritual Childhood of St. Therese (by Fr. Frederick Miller, if you’ve heard of him…available from Franciscan University Press). Hope this helps. God bless.


#3

Thank you. That’s all very good advice and I agree that it is focusing on ourselves instead of on God Who is Love.

Pax Christi tecum.


#4

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