Faith & Worship Faith & Worship

For those who are stressed!

Life can be stressful - some prayers and thoughts

calm, peace

Below you will find a selection of Scripture passages and prayers which I have written to accompany them.

They are written in the hope that they will help those whose lives are currently filled with stress, troubles or uncertainty. I've been there, otherwise I could not pen these words.

What is stress?

Physiologists define stress as how the body reacts to a stressor, real or imagined, a stimulus that causes stress. Acute stressors affect an organism in the short term; chronic stressors over the longer term.

Selye researched the effects of stress.

Alarm is the first stage. When the threat or stressor is identified or realized, the body's stress response is a state of alarm. During this stage adrenaline will be produced in order to bring about the fight-or-flight response.

Resistance is the second stage. If the stressor persists, it becomes necessary to attempt some means of coping with the stress. Although the body begins to try to adapt to the strains or demands of the environment, the body cannot keep this up indefinitely, so its resources are gradually depleted.

Exhaustion is the third and final stagel. At this point, all of the body's resources are eventually depleted and the body is unable to maintain normal function. The initial autonomic nervous system symptoms may reappear (sweating, raised heart rate etc.). If stage three is extended, long term damage may result as the body, and the immune system is exhausted.

The result can manifest itself in obvious illnesses such as ulcers, depression, diabetes, trouble with the digestive system or even cardiovascular problems, along with other mental illnesses. (source Wikipedia)

This resource is a continuing work in progress.


Isaiah 43:1-2
"Fear not, for I have redeemed you;
I have summoned you by name; you are mine.
When you pass through the waters,
I will be with you;
and when you pass through the rivers,
they will not sweep over you.” (NIV)


Today is going to be a struggle, Lord.
The act of rising, journeying,
conversation, bustling crowds,
people I work with,
people I meet.
Be my confidence,
my assurance,
in the words that I speak.
Be my freedom,
my guidance,
as I walk through these streets.
Today is going to be a struggle, Lord.
Keep my head above water,
keep my eyes fixed on you.



Psalm 34:17-19
"The righteous cry out, and the LORD hears them; he delivers them from all their troubles. The LORD is close to the broken-hearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. A righteous man may have many troubles, but the LORD delivers him from them all." (NIV)



The door through which we enter
into the world can be for some
more than a handle to be turned,
more than a barrier to be crossed.
There is comfort and security
in isolation, a kind of peace
behind locked doors.
And the alternative?
Fear in venturing beyond the known.
Fear in the interaction with others.
Fear of intimidation or worse.
For those whose hearts are troubled
or spirits crushed
by sin or circumstance,
Good Lord, deliver them,
bring healing and wholeness
of mind, body and spirit,
and freedom
to be the person
they were always meant to be.





"The LORD watches over you— the LORD is your shade at your right hand; the sun will not harm you by day, nor the moon by night. The LORD will keep you from all harm— he will watch over your life; the LORD will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore." (NIV)


In my going out
and coming in,
my rising
and sleeping,
watch over me,
keep me from harm.
In summer sun
and winter rain,
my joyfulness
and sorrow
watch over me,
keep me from harm.
In the darkness
and in lighter days
my fears
and comfort,
watch over me,
keep me from harm.
This day,
and all days.



"To every thing there is a season, a time to every purpose under the heaven: a time to be born, a time to die, a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted; A time to kill, and a time to heal, a time to break down, and a time to build up; A time to weep, and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance " (NIV)


The joy you felt today
is the smile you share tomorrow.
A time for all things,
that all might be blessed.

The grief you knew yesterday
may be the comfort you share today.
A time for all things,
that all might be blessed.

The hurt you felt today
is the forgiveness you share tomorrow.
A time for all things,
that all might be blessed.

The seed you sowed yesterday
may be the fruit you harvest today.
A time for all things,
that all might be blessed,
in springtime
and winter,
in dancing
and mourning,
life and death.





Psalm 121
"I lift my eyes up to the hills-
where does my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord
the Maker of Heaven and Earth' He will not let your foot slip - he who watches over you will not slumber." (NIV)


The true adventurer
is willing to walk
through sunshine or rain,
when the going is good,
or ground slips away
from beneath their feet.
The true adventurer
delights in the glory
of each mountain peak
yet does not fear
the danger of forest
or swift flowing stream.
The true adventurer
listens to the words
of one who knows the way
intimately, having
already walked
the path they travel on.




John 16:33
"I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world." (NIV)

This morning,
and all mornings,
as we face the day
daunted by expectations
others place upon us,
weighed down by burdens,
unsure of outcomes,
remind us
that you faced all this
and more,
that we might loose
these chains that bind us,
rise above and beyond
the troubles of this world,
and know peace.
To the one who has overcome
we bring our thanks and praise



Philippians 4:4-7
"Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." (NIV)



Sometimes words are not enough
to express the language of our hearts,
sometimes minds are filled
with prayers without expression.

Sometimes there are not enough
spare moments in each day,
sometimes regret is all
we have as our confession.

Sometimes faith is not enough
but in the presence of your peace,
sometimes prayer can be
a quiet conversation.

Sometimes words are not enough
to express the anguish on our hearts,
sometimes prayers are answered
that remain unspoken.



Philippians 4:6-7
"Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." (NIV)


In our anxiety, fear and uncertainty,
when hearts are heavy with the load we bear,
and there is no one to turn toward but you;
yours is the peace that calms,
the peace that comforts,
the peace that gives us strength to carry on.
Yours is the voice we long to hear,
the persistent whisper in our ear,
‘Be still, and know that I am God’.
Yours is the presence in the dark
that banishes our fears.
Yours is the hand that guides,
the footprints in which I walk.
In our anxiety,
fear and uncertainty,
in confidence we turn to you.




Romans 5:3-5
" … we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us." (NIV)



We are born in hope,
Raised in hope,
Nurtured in hope,
Loved in hope,
Comforted in hope,
Suffer in hope,
Endure in hope,
Overcome in hope.
Hope in the One
who has endured all things
that we might know freedom,
Hope in the One
who has given us his Spirit
that we might have power,
Hope in the One
who has loved us beyond death
that we might have life,
Hope in the One
who prepares a place for us
that we might share eternity with him.
For hope that endures, we thank you Lord.


ebooks by John Birch

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