A Prayer for Times of Despair and Anxiety
Heavenly Father, Creator and Sustainer of the Cosmos; Beloved Son whose Indwelling is the Source of Perpetual Peace; Breath of Life that effortlessly flows through the natural world, I come to you fractured in the deepest region of my soul, plagued by intense despair that renders the world hollow and simultaneously full of ethereal shadows that summon me to annihilation, taking the visage of those that purport to love me, calling to me as “mother,” “father,” and “beloved,” whispering memories of a history that I hoped was forever concealed within the labyrinth of my mind.
I am overrun by tidal waves of anxiety that flood my world, reducing it from a plenteous manifold of dynamic diversity where Your Presence is encountered with each and every breath to a panorama of persecuting voices, forecasting a future of never ending woe.
Holy Trinity, during such moments when my world is immersed and swallowed up by despair, when my very manner of imagining and projecting my possibilities for being is narrowed to the point of seeing in the other only those that have hurt me, may you come to my assistance as a thundering whisper, whose sound is not to be heard with the naked ears but felt as a vibration of the Trinitarian nature that underlies the manifest world and has existed from beginningless time.
May I recall the path of healing that was lived by the Second Person of the Godhead, who didn’t reject the darkness, but who, through the Father, accepted and transformed it, turning the cessation of life into life eternal, showing that death and life are inseparable.
With his path and my path constituting a unity, with suffering and joy constituting a circular, holistic process that will lead to increased wisdom and greater serenity, may I not shy away from emotional suffering, but look deeply so that I see in it the very means to live a resurrected life, to give birth to the Eternal Logos in my soul.
Through Your Love, I welcome the demons that were previously my despair and anxiety. I show them hospitality, not by identifying with them, but by seeing them as angels, as messengers whose communications are designed to direct me to those aspects of self that need care.
I realize that they have become monstrous in appearance only because they were starved. Once fed with Divine Understanding, they begin to take proper form by shedding their previously demonic countenance, revealing themselves as lonely and frightened children. And, when nurtured with patience, compassion, and insight, become openings for an illuminated now and harbingers of a blessed future whose proclamations of transmutation demonstrate a path to wisdom that knows no equal.
In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit,
By Dr. Ian Edwards
Director of the University Counseling and Wellbeing Center