The real message

Dear friends,

I’m was trying to come up with a prayer & audio for the holiday season, but it’s not coming out. So I’m just going to share what I’m feeling today.

Here we go….

We all know about the significance of Christmas and the New Year, but the holidays are stressful, aren’t they?

I see a lot of people suffering during these times. There’s so much pressure from all sides it seems. It’s not always from bad intentions, but the stress appears.

During this time of festivity, why are we sometimes sad?

I think a lot of it has to do with being busy and overwhelmed. Or missing someone we’ve lost.

It also has to do with high expectations that our reality can never live up to. We want the perfect holiday moment, but it always seems to fall short. Sometimes it’s even a disaster.

Isn’t that the story of our lives?

But the thing is, we actually set our sights too low. That’s right.

We actually should look for more. Look higher.

What do I mean by this?

Many times we desire an earthly perfection that forever escapes us. We see our miseries and the misery of others. And we don’t like it. We don’t like the pain.

Instead, we should remember and know a heavenly perfection awaits us.

Jesus waits for us.

The promise of God is real. Don’t let our fallen reality darken this truth in your life.

If the holidays aren’t filling that emptiness inside, it’s because they can’t. Only the love of God can. That love is rooted in Christ.

Go back again to the basics. The birth in the manger is just the beginning. Symbolically, today, Jesus is a newborn. One. Day. Old.

And he promises you an eternity with him in heaven.

So look there. Aim higher. Rest in him.

Don’t let the worries of this world put out the yearning and fire that burns in your heart.

Your soul cries out to God. He sent his Son as an answer.

You are loved deeply by God.

That is our hope. He is our joy.

Live the promise of heaven. Today. Here. Now.

Your feet firm and solid on earth. Your heart full of the Spirit of Christ.

Your soul, free in God’s loving grace.

Peace be with you!

Keeping busy

Dear friend in Christ,

As you may have noticed, I didn’t post a Prayer & Audio this week. Still, that doesn’t mean I’m not active! As for everyone, the end of the year here is hectic. This week I’m dedicating a lot of time to our prison ministry end-of-year activities.

One of the best moments was a lunch we had with some men who have completed their prison time and are now free. They are rebuilding their families and their lives.

We broke bread, shared our struggles and victories… and gave thanks to God. What a blessing!

Please keep us in your prayers… as you are in mine every day.

Grace to you and yours,

Vincent

If you want to know more about me, check out this behind the scenes post.

I’ll get back to regular posting next week!

Needing prayer support

Hello friends!

I don’t do this very often, but I’m asking for your prayer support. Many have left prayer requests here, and some of their situations are very serious. They need our prayers!

Three ways you can help:

  1. Pray for those who ask for prayer on this site.
  2. Leave words of encouragement in our Ask For Prayer section.
  3. Share a prayer or uplifting word at the end of this post.

As the writer and caretaker of this site, I ask for your prayers too. I need them to keep going!

Thank you and may God bless you with his abundant goodness,

Vincent

For this reason, because I have heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love toward all the saints, I do not cease to give thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers,

Ephesians 1:15-16

Lift Up Your Weary Soul 2

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Get free from the root causes of toxic anger

Get free from the root causes of toxic angerEverybody gets angry once in a while. It’s a normal part of human expression. Still, if you can’t manage your anger, then something else is going on.  How can you find out what it is?

Do I have a problem?

It’s one thing to lose your temper once in awhile, but toxic anger is different. Do any of these statements describe you?

  • I feel out of control with my anger.
  • I dwell on hurting (“getting back at”) others  or myself when I’m angry.
  • After an outburst, I feel ashamed or guilty.
  • People tell me that my anger is a problem or that it scares them.
  • I hit or push people or break things when I’m angry.
  • I’m sarcastic or mean with my speech.
  • I “fly off the handle” easily, even about small things.
  • When I drink, I get aggressive.

Nobody wants to feel or do these things. You don’t want to either. It’s time to break free. It’s not easy, but you can do it. Begin to trust.

What do psychologists say causes anger?

Stress, money problems, abuse, social or family conflicts, and being too busy can all influence anger. Also, if you were raised in a home where there was a lot of anger, you might have been affected. Or maybe you were humiliated or ignored as a child. Genetics could play a role as well. For example, your serotonin levels may have something to do with how  you deal with frustration.

Look for core triggers

If you don’t get enough sleep or you skip meals, this could make your temper worse. Like anxiety triggers, many things can increase anger. If you look carefully, you can identify root causes of anger. And that’s where true healing begins.

With an open heart, ask yourself if any of these statements describe you:

  • I have a poor self image and feel like I deserve punishment.
  • I have a strong desire to control others.
  • Since I feel small, I want to be powerful.
  • Unjust or unfair situations make me see red.

Think about situations or conversations that really make you mad. Look for a pattern. What things seem to repeat themselves over and over again?

Identify the wound

As you go through this process, spend time in prayer. Ask God to help you see where anger is affecting you and those around you. Let the Holy Spirit open your mind and heart to identify anger patterns. Eventually, you will discover an unhealed wound, and this is the root of most of your anger.

If you have a cut or bruise and someone pokes it, you react. Anger is the same. Somewhere in the past you were hurt or humiliated, and the wound remains open. There’s a good chance you already know what it is. If not, reflect and pray. God will eventually reveal it to you.

Understand yourself

This entire process lets you get to know yourself better. Don’t look for your perfect self. Look for your real self. When you see yourself and your past in the light of truth, you can begin to heal.

Ask Jesus to pour out his healing mercy over something specific. This kind of prayer is much more effective than asking to take your anger away in general.

Forgive

The most radical thing a Christian can do is forgive. You may have been hurt and wronged. It might have been terribly unfair. Still, if you let this pain go untreated, it only continues to hurt you and others around you. Think about how much you don’t want this to happen.

This isn’t meant to deny your pain or make excuses, but resentment is poison to your soul. If you can’t find a way to forgive right now, ask God to show you how. Sometimes it starts by asking for forgiveness for yourself.

Take your time

Don’t feel rushed or hurried in this process, but don’t lose your focus either. This could be the most important thing you do in your life. People get impatient when they don”t see fast results. No matter what, deep healing takes time.

In the process you will get closer to God. He heals your heart. And you build a Kingdom of love all around you. You begin to apologize and get closer others. Is this worth it? Yes!

Put in the effort. Take the time. You can do it. Trust that God will help you, and your faith will set you free.

Henrietta’s story

When Henrietta’s mother was pregnant, she tried to hide the fact since she wasn’t married yet. Henrietta ended up with a birth certificate that showed a later date than her true birthday. As an adult, Henrietta got married and had three kids. Her husband was unfaithful, and their marriage went through several years of turmoil before ending in divorce.

Whenever the issue of women’s rights came up, Henrietta would get furious. Her personality would change, and it became impossible to talk to her.

It’s not that women’s right are not important, but Henrietta’s exaggerated anger was based on core wounds from the past. Hiding a pregnancy and infidelity caused pain. The solution is to find out how to let go and forgive those who caused the pain. Also, identify her own part in the failed marriage and forgive herself.

Mildred’s story

Mildred lived a hard life of severe humiliation and abuse from her mother-in-law. An only child, Mildred also had a sister who died when they were children. Mildred had abortions out of fear of the reaction of her mother-in-law. Later, Mildred had a large family and many grandchildren. When Mildred prayed, she prayed for God to punish her.

When an issue about her children came up, or a criticism about one of her daughters-in-law, Mildred became extremely violent even swearing and shouting. Any apparent injustice sent Mildred into a rage.

The answer for Mildred is to go back and forgive her mother-in-law and heal from the wound of her lost sister. Also, she needs to find a way to forgive herself for the abortions. This process will be tough, but it will bring tremendous blessings.

Stan’s story

Stan grew up with an alcoholic father who was physically abusive. Later in life, whenever Stan felt like someone made fun of him or put him down, he lashed out. He got into many physical confrontations with friends, family and even strangers. Always with a chip on his shoulder, Stan resolved conflicts with shouting, threats and his fists.  After each fight, he felt terrible about himself. He even spent some time in jail.

Solution: Stan will heal when he forgives his father and himself. Then he will have a peaceful heart.

Needs a miracle

In cases like these, sometimes only a miracle can take away the pain and anger. Do you believe in the miracle of the Resurrection? Can we put limits on God’s love?

Remember, God gave his Son for you. But wait — don’t skip over this truth. Meditate about this. Think about what the death of Christ on the cross really means to you personally. Let the Spirit begin to soften your heart so God’s healing love can enter.

Begin to believe that things can and will change. Don’t get trapped into saying, “That’s just how I am.” This is not true at all. You CAN change. You CAN be better. You CAN have peace and joy.

Wounds are  hard to understand and even harder to accept. When you begin to trust in the miracle of Christ — and his power to free and heal — then a miracle can happen in your life. You are loved beyond measure. Don’t be afraid! Be free!

There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear…

1 John 4:18a

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Third Millennium Man

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THIRD MILLENNIUM MAN – For the gifts and the call of God are irrevocable. 

We’re thrilled to announce the release of a new website for Christian men of all denominations. It’s a place to help us understand the challenges we face as men of God in modern times.

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Coming soon…

Some exciting new projects coming your way…

  1. New issue of Strength in the Storm about relationships
  2. A website dedicated to men seeking to dive deeper into their faith. It’s for those who have the fire of the Spirit burning in their hearts.

Keep an eye out for these coming soon.

May God be with you always!

Behind the scenes

Ever wonder what goes on at the back office at Prayer for Anxiety? Well, here’s an exclusive look!

vince 1

That’s me.

I thought it might be time to give readers a tiny glimpse at my personal life as the creator of this site. Since some of you have contacted me, and many have been praying for me, I felt like sharing a bit of my story.

Right now, I live in Martinez (a city-suburb of Buenos Aires, Argentina) with my wife Sofia and our five sons. I’m originally from Pittsburgh, PA. It’s been a long journey, but God has been kind and faithful to us.

Rooftops of Martinez

Rooftops of Martinez

We relocated here in 2004. Right now I work as a writer, and this website is where my writer’s heart finds its joy — in serving Christ.

Another place I serve is in a prison Bible study ministry. Every week, we bring the Word of God to nearly 240 inmates. Each time I exit the prison I come away greatly blessed by the men who have been transformed by the Bread of Life.

 

Prison Bible

Holy Bible – Free In Jesus

Argentina has a rich history marked by periods of difficulty. The people have a huge sense of hospitality. A large part of their heritage comes from life on ranches and farms.

Traditional gaucho culture

I write all the articles and prayers on this site. My work will continue as long as God finds it useful. I even get feedback and prayer requests from as far away as Ghana.

Lake Volta in Ghana

Thanks for being interested in my story. You can email me at contact@prayerforanxiety.com. I’d love to hear from you!

For those who see value in my work, please consider becoming a Patron. All supporters get exclusive updates about life down here in Argentina and how our ministry is helping build God’s Kingdom.

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Lift Up Your Weary Soul – A collection of 85 prayers & reflections
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Vincent