5 Ways to Use Prayer to Stop Negative Thoughts in Their Tracks

3. Tell yourself what to think through prayer.

In Psalm 42, the sons of Korah escaped depression and other negative thoughts by telling themselves what to think through prayer. For example, the psalmist wondered in verse 5, “Why are you downcast, O my soul, and why are you restless in me?” Then he solved his own problem by telling himself what to do: “Hope in God; for I will praise him again, my salvation and my God.

Here’s how to pray Psalm 42:5 to stop your own negative downward spiral:

Lord, why do I feel (insert your emotion)? Why are my thoughts so self-centered? Why am I missing (hope/purpose/compassion/sound mind) today? Realign my mind to know that You are the God of hope, the Answer to all confusion, the Truth in all situations, the Deliverer from all danger. I put my hope in You, God. Rid me of these thoughts which have no power over my heart and my mind which belong only to You. In Jesus’ Name, amen.

4. Pray to drive away worry with thanksgiving.

The scriptures give us an excellent antidote to worry and negative thoughts. Philippians 4:6-7 is an excellent prescription that really works if we follow it closely: “Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray for everything. Tell God what you need and thank him for everything he has done. Then you will experience the peace of God, which is beyond anything we can comprehend. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus” (NLT).

Worry simply gives way to these negative thoughts. According to this passage of Scripture, we should be concerned about nothing and rather pray for eall. When we do this, in addition to telling God what we need and thanking him for what he is already doing, we will experience God’s incomprehensible peace that will keep us from continuing to worry and be drugged by its effect on us. Here’s how to pray with Philippians 4:6-7 as your guide:

Lord, Your Word commands me not to worry about anything and instead bring my restless thoughts and anxieties to You, who controls every situation, even my level of fear and panic. Lord, I give to you (name your situation or the person you have negative thoughts about) and I ask you (name your request). Thank you for all you have already done for me and all you will continue to do to work this situation for eternal good in my life. Keep me focused on you and your power, so that I can experience your peace and not be tormented by my worries or fears of what might happen. In the name of Jesus, through whom all things are possible, amen.

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