Most of my clients hear from me at some point (when it’s appropriate for me to share) my own personal examples in dealing with obsessive thoughts. I have gotten very stuck in obsessive thinking and resultant feelings (and still do some days). Born through my own personal trials and individually tailored to clients who want a Christian lens, I sometimes share a version of my prayer I use when stuck on thoughts.
One tool, not a “fix”
First of all, some key notes are in order about any use of prayer for obsessions:
- Any thought or behavior can become ritualistic or compulsive. Look at your own individual situation. Please don’t use this compulsively!
- Sometimes, the necessary exposure is to not pray at all if you’re going to do it compulsively. Prayer used for a compulsion is not prayer. It’s a compulsion.
- Don’t copy my words necessarily if you have any struggled with “just right”/perfectionistic/superstitious/etc. In fact, you might want to write up your own version and change it every now and then.
- This will never be a “home run,” and you may not feel better after. It’s meant to help cognitively assert a decision, based on theological belief, and then take action instead of giving into compulsive processes. In fact, you may feel worse after doing this because to not ruminate is the harder thing to do when you feel fear, anxiety, etc.
Prayer of a Stuck Follower:
My Loving Father,
You know deeper and truer than I how stuck I become on thoughts I deem or feel are important. Your ways are not my ways. Your thoughts are not my thoughts. You have shown me more than once, upon getting out of my mental “funk” that my obsessive bouts only serve to mire me deeper, pull me away from helping others more completely, and lead to more fear and doubt. I take it by faith RIGHT NOW that your heart for me is Love.
I accept the sacrifice of Christ for all my sins, known and unknown. I accept that my uncertainty leads me to think I could be OR am missing something essential, so I also accept your grace and freedom that I don’t have to know completely at this moment. So I act in faith by giving you this thought process, not to question it or to figure it out, unless you make clear through some other source (outside my own thought process or brain) that any shred of attention is to be given by digging deeper. I will work on not ruminating until at least [insert day / time you can return to the topic with support]. I offer up as a living sacrifice my desire to control and feel better.
In Christ’s name, Amen.