There are few things worse than an anxious heart.
Whether you are on the path of learning to trust God, or you trust Him with your whole heart, we can all fall victim to anxiety about what is going on in the world.
While on a mission to read one Psalm a day last year, I learned quickly that turning to the Psalms for anxiety was one of the best things I could do. God made us in His image, and the Psalms seem to reflect every type of emotion that people can possibly go through.
Disclaimer: I received a copy of Psalms for the Anxious Heart: A 30-Day Devotional for Uncertain Times in exchange for a review of the book. All opinions are completely my own. In addition, this post may contain affiliate links. Simply put, if you click on a link I may earn a small commission from anything purchased, at no extra cost to you.
So when I was asked to read Psalms for the Anxious Heart: A 30-Day Devotional for Uncertain Times, by Becky Harling, I jumped at the chance to read it.
God’s timing is amazing, because I had no idea the things that were about to unfold in my life.
Psalms for the Anxious Heart: A 30-Day Devotional For Uncertain Times
Click above or click here to learn more about the book!
Where I was before reading this book:
This book is a must-read. When this book arrived on my doorstep, this is what was going on in my life:
- I was 28 weeks pregnant
- I was working at home full-time (my husband was working at home full-time too)
- I was homeschooling two kids while working full-time
- I was trying to start a side business to get us out of a financial mess
I thought life was as stressful as it could get. I mean, it’s 2020 right? We’re all pretty stressed and anxious. But I thought it couldn’t get worse.
Then, during a routine 28-week appointment, I was sent to the hospital for some extra tests. I didn’t come home.
I spent four days in the hospital- a place that brings me great anxiety- for the doctors to end up deciding that the only way to stop the symptoms was to deliver my baby. On July 30, my Daniel Christopher was born at 3 lbs. 3 oz.
He is a little fighter and doing amazing. But what I thought was too busy of a schedule for me before he was born became even busier- we started having to travel an hour each way to go see him only for an hour or two every day. We suddenly had 4-5 hours each day that was Daniel Time.
In other words, life took a woman that was anxious around the clock due to not having enough time, and then took 4-5 hours a day away. How was I ever to get anything done?
And that’s just tackling time anxiety. That’s not adding the anxiety of having a preemie in the hospital an hour away in a world going through a pandemic.
Enter Psalms for anxiety and fear.
If you can’t tell by now, this book came at the perfect time for me. However, even if I wasn’t going through any of this, 2020 is not what any of us expected it to be. This is the year that we are all fighting our own anxiety battles. If not, you will be at some point in your life. We can’t go a whole life and escape anxious thoughts.
This book is needed for every Christian woman’s bookshelf.
The best things about the book:
In all honesty, it’s hard for me to find devotionals I like. I was wary when I came across this book, because sometimes I get distracted with devotionals and want to do things my own way. However, this devotional was exceptional for multiple reasons:
The way it is set up
The book is set up for 30 days of devotionals that all revolve around psalms for anxiety. Each day had almost a checklist of sorts that made my quiet time with God much easier and it helped me stay focused.
Each day starts with a psalm, then a short devotional, 1-3 questions for “stop and reflect” time, today’s truth, a song, and a prayer.
The stop and reflect time
Called “Selah- Pause and Reflect”, this section seems to be missing in the majority of devotionals I read. I feel like many devotionals that give a thought from the author and then a prayer they wrote and that’s it. I almost feel like I’m snooping in someone’s prayer journal.
However, Becky Harling makes sure that we can take the Psalms for anxiety that she chose and make it personal. I even used my own prayer journal while reading this!
For example, on Day One, the Selah- Pause and Reflect says:
“What reminders do you have of God’s faithfulness in the past that might prompt you to trust Him today?”
Reading her story of faithfulness was amazing and inspiring. However, she takes it a step farther and makes me think- “Okay, but how does this apply to my life?”
This part is so important because once it becomes personal, we can share it with others. Yes, I’ve been telling everyone how amazing this book is, but when we get to the nitty-gritty of discussing faith and hard times with others, it’s our own stories that tend to move the mountains.
- The Music Recommendations
Each day, Harling recommends a song to go with what she has discussed and what we are praying to God about.
I recently discovered the love of praying with music. It is a whole different way to worship God. It was obvious these songs were thoughtfully chosen.
- Her Writing Style
Remember the days that we could go out to coffee with a friend? Boy, do I miss those days!
Reading Harling’s book felt like I was at the comfiest couch at a local coffee shop, listening to a wise friend confide to me her secrets for calming an anxious heart.
Harling has a way of being poetic and conversational, which is a hard line to battle. I felt inspired, but also that I could meet her and not consider her a stranger. This is part of her gift of helping the anxious heart, and I am thankful she answered the calling God gave her.
PIN TO SAVE FOR LATER!
My top favorite Psalms for anxiety from the book:
“The Lord reigns, let the earth be glad; let the distant shores rejoice. Clouds and thick darkness surround him; righteousness and justice are the foundation of his throne.” (Psalm 97:1-2)
“It is good to praise the LORD and make music to your name, O Most High, proclaiming your love in the morning and your faithfulness at night.” (Psalm 92:1-2)
“Satisfy us in the morning with your unfailing love, that we may sing for joy and be glad all our days.” (Psalm 90:14)
“I will listen to what God the LORD says; he promises to his people, his faithful servants- but let them not turn to folly.” (Psalm 85:8)
“You are the God who performs miracles; you display your power among the peoples.” (Psalm 77:14)
Who is Becky Harling?
Becky Harling is a speaker, writer, pastor’s wife, and a coach.
I think it’s crucial to know about the author when you read a book. To know where an author has been and where they are coming from is not only powerful, but it gives so much more validity to the book.
In her about section on her website, Harling states:
“One of the reasons I am so passionate about helping you move beyond your obstacles to find hope is because I know what it’s like to feel hopeless. I am a survivor of both breast cancer and childhood sexual abuse. I understand what it’s like to feel stuck and what it takes to overcome those obstacles. In order to move beyond my obstacles I had to shift my focus. Praising God was the key to that shift. As I learned to lift my focus, my attitude became more positive and confident hope was the end result.”
This isn’t someone who has had a ridiculously easy life and then tries to give us Psalms for anxiety. This is someone who has been in the deep dark places where the only place to turn to is God. She knows that feeling.
When I was in the hospital, I had one doctor that would come in and tell me I was going home that day, and then another doctor come in hours later and say they may deliver the baby that day.
My fear of hospitals started when I started fainting whenever I got a needle as young as 1 1/2 years old, and it was exacerbated when my brother was in and out of the hospital for three years battling pediatric bone cancer. I was young, and often claimed I didn’t remember much, but memories continue to resurface every time I smell the smell of hospitals.
I didn’t have much when I was waiting, but I had Psalms for the Anxious Heart. And she peacefully walked me through one of the hardest times of my life ever.
To find out more about Becky Harling, check out her ministry page, her Facebook page, her Twitter page, or her Instagram page.
What Do You Believe Are the Best Psalms for Anxiety and Fear?
Let us know below what Psalms have helped you the most to fight anxiety and why. Also, let us know how we can pray for you!
Jessie Synan is a Master’s student in Theological Studies who helps other women find their prayer focus in a distracting world. She went from her ADHD interfering with her prayer life to finding her own unique rhythms for prayer and encouraging other women to do the same. She is the founder of Pray With Confidence, which has helped over 5000 women focus on prayer through the real and vulnerable advice she gives to those on her email list when they sign up for the free guide “How to pray [when you can’t focus.]”
Sunday 16th of August 2020
This is one book I need right now. My stress level is causing me to feel forgetful and overwhelmed. What a wonderful to quiet our minds and wait on the Lord for comfort and peace. Thank you for sharing.
Friday 14th of August 2020
This sounds like a wonderful devotional. I’m so glad it came at the right time for you Jessie and that you and your tiny son are doing well.
Friday 14th of August 2020
Thank you Karen! We are both doing as well as we can considering the circumstances. God definitely placed this book with me at the perfect time!