By Claire Swinarski
You know those moments when you’re just . . . melting down? Whether you’ve just had a horrible meeting at work, your entire house is a disaster, or you’ve been handed a terrifying medical diagnosis, we’ve all been stuck in those days where we’ve hit a wall. We just feel done, from the top of our head to the tips of our toes. We don’t know whether to put on our big-kid pants and kick some butt, or crawl into bed and hide under the covers. But one thing’s for sure: the last thing we want to do is pray.
However, the times when we want to pray the least are the times when we need to do it the most.
Why Do We Need to Pray?
Why? First and foremost, because it’s in the moments when we least want to talk to God that we need Him the most. When we feel like we’re in a deep tunnel of panic, whether it’s true suffering or just a momentary freak out, that’s when we need the light of Christ to help us out. But furthermore, praying can help center our emotions and calm our overwhelmed nervous systems. You’ve probably heard people talk about the benefits of meditation. Well, many aspects of prayer—like silence and centering—can bring the same mental clarity benefits as a meditation practice. But prayer is even more powerful since it’s speaking your desires to the creator of the universe!
When you’re freaking out, it can be hard to come up with the right words for prayer. You probably won’t feel eloquent or perfectly put together. But that’s okay—God can handle our messiest prayers. Here are some simple prayers you can offer to God when you’re about to lose it.
The Hail Mary
Obviously, as Catholics, we have a great devotion to our mother! You know how when you’re in a downward spiral, sometimes you just need your mom? Well, saying a Hail Mary is like that, except to the mother of our Lord, who Jesus gave us to protect and guide us! Better yet, you don’t need to get creative with the words. They were written thousands of years ago and are working just fine.
Jesus, I Trust in You
This simple prayer can be radically life changing. Take some deep breaths, and on the inhale, think Jesus, while on the exhale, praying I Trust in You. These words are written on the bottom of the divine mercy image, and they were given to St. Faustina by Christ Himself. It’s such a simple, centering prayer that can calm your heart and cool your nerves.
St. Michael the Archangel
The devil loves to see us flustered, stressed out, and doubting in God’s providence. That’s why the St. Michael prayer can be so powerful. It asks God to rebuke Satan and send him back where he came from. If even saying the St. Michael prayer feels like too much, a simple, I banish Satan in the name of Jesus Christ will suffice!
When we don’t want to pray, it’s easy to avoid it. Nobody’s making sure you bring your requests to God or ask Him for help in times of struggle. But it’s important to remember that prayer doesn’t have to be complicated. Instead, it can be a life vest in the middle of a tumbling ocean—if only you’re willing to reach out and grab it.