This prayer can help you when you want to get rid of bad or intrusive thoughts. Remember, this prayer is just a start. Authentic prayer comes from the Spirit speaking to and from your heart.
But first, let’s explain a few things…
Prayer and intrusive thoughts
Do you ever feel like you can’t control your thoughts? This is actually much more common than you might think. Sometimes you might even be shocked by the bad thoughts that come into your head.
Even people who have very strong faith might face similar difficulties. Remember, a fleeting thought, no matter how bad, isn’t something to feel guilty about. It doesn’t mean you have hidden evil inside you. It only means you are human, and sometimes strange thoughts pop into our heads.
Now if you were to act upon those thoughts, then that would be a problem. Or if you willfully desired to think those thoughts, then it might mean something is wrong.
Here’s what typically happens. You might be doing nothing special or even praying, and boom… a horrible thought or image appears in your head. You’re horrified, and it might take a while for the thought to go away. Eventually, your thoughts return to normal, but it might happen again at another time. And you start to feel like something is wrong with you or you feel guilty.
Don’t worry. This is common. We humans are strange and complex creatures. Maybe you are processing something emotionally or spiritually, and the strange thoughts are part of it. Don’t spend too much time trying to figure it out. Instead, let the process take its course. This doesn’t mean you try to think bad thoughts, but you don’t obsess over them either.
Sometimes it helps to focus on a characteristic of God. You might even repeat to yourself things about him, such as:
God is good.
God is merciful.
God is kind.
God is patient.
Repeat these truths over and over again until the moment passes. In most cases, with time, the bad thoughts go away completely on their own. As with all things, prayer and God’s Word help tremendously to bring your mind back under control and into focus.
If you are having an especially hard time breaking out of a thought cycle, you can also try a reality check. You simply open your eyes and look at a neutral object (cup, tree, table, etc.) and name it. You say, “This is a tree.” You can even mentally describe what you are doing, like this, “I am sitting in a chair. I am in my house. It is sunny outside… ” Just describe the reality you are in at the moment.
Now, here’s the prayer…
We all have bad thoughts sometimes. They can even be horrible or overwhelming. The best defense is God’s Word and seeking his presence in prayer. If you trust in the truth of Christ’s resurrection, he is certain to free you. Do not feel guilty about a fleeting thought that you didn’t want to think. Let the Holy Spirit make you strong to resist the lies and attacks of the enemy. Christ’s victory is absolute and eternal.
PRAYER AGAINST BAD THOUGHTS
Dear loving God,
Sometimes I have terrible thoughts that run through my head.
Do you see me, dear Lord? Do you see my struggle?
You are mighty. You are strong, and you love me.
Set me free Lord!
Remove the bad thoughts that torment me.
Cast the enemy out of my mind and my life. Let no attack, deceit or contamination affect me any more.
For I have been washed clean by the blood of the Lamb.
Your mighty Spirit protects me always.
All victory is yours alone.
Dear loving Lord, clear my mind, bring rest to my heart with the sweet caress of your loving grace.
In Jesus’ holy name,