Prayer for a Restful Mind
By Megan Evans

“And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.” – Philippians 4:8 (NLT)

Does your thought life run a mile a minute? With constant information coming at us throughout the day, it’s easy to find our minds pulled in multiple directions–and sometimes all at once! If you’re prone to multi-tasking like I am, then you know how these tugs for our attention can easily compete. And who can fault us in this crazy, busy world that we live in today? Yet, the Lord wants so much more for you and me than simply our ability to keep up with life’s constant distraction. God calls us to enjoy daily peace of mind.

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This morning, I found myself simultaneously talking on the phone, glancing down to read messages from a group text, and sorting clothes for the washing machine. When I finally had a chance to sit down with a cup of coffee, I found myself reaching for my phone rather than enjoying the pause and rest. Does this pattern of distraction sound familiar to you? Lord, guide my thoughts and actions today and help me recognize the many opportunities to savor the peace of Your presence. 

Perhaps more than ever, we crave stillness. We may seek rest for our body, but do we seek out rest for our mind? For this, the Bible points us to the importance of focusing on God and letting our minds enjoy resting in His goodness.

READ: God’s Love for You Lasts Forever – Daily Hope with Rick Warren – August 20, 2022

God created mankind beautifully with brains for thinking, emotions for feeling, and daily experiences for interacting. Yet, we don’t always respond in ways that lead us to live in the daily peace He wants for us. This activity can leave our minds overwhelmed but thankfully not overlooked. As we are reminded in Matthew 10:30, our Heavenly Father cares about us down to the very number of hairs on our heads. This kind of loving detail assures us that God cares for our entire body, including our minds. Lord, train me to take good care of my whole self and make me aware of any unhealthy areas. 

It is easy to reflexively reach for fillers that will distract and entertain us instead of seeking true moments of rest for our minds. Philippians 4:8 gives us eight prayerful areas to reset our focus back on Jesus. It is life-giving to think about what is: true, honorable, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent, and praiseworthy. 

This list is a much-needed call to take a brain break throughout our day. It also reminds us to be selective about what we see and hear so that we can experience God’s best for us, including our thought life. When we keep our mind numb and soaked in dishonoring or distracting content day in and day out, it becomes hard to hear the lead and counsel of the Holy Spirit. When our thoughts are fixed on the world, the enemy is all too happy to fill us with his worldly lies. Yet, in Christ, we can be set free from a mind full of unrest and untruth. Lord, I don’t want to settle for anything less than Your very best for my mind today.

When we struggle to stay focused on what matters most, it can leave us experiencing weariness. Psalm 97:2 proclaims that righteousness and justice are the foundation of God’s throne. Therefore, the rightful place for our every concern is at the feet of King Jesus today. With God’s Word as our standard of measurement for decision-making in this world and the Holy Spirit as our guide and wise counsel, we can begin to triage our thought life one step at a time. We can take brain breaks in prayer and worship or simply enjoy God’s undivided attention. We can rest our minds daily and begin to experience the peace of God.

What thoughts are you dwelling on today? What needs to be released into God’s care and exchanged for His Truth?

Let’s pray for a restful mind today.

Dear Lord, I surrender my thought life to the cross. Help me learn to view my world through the lens of Your Truth, rather than fixing my thoughts on earthly perception, assumption, or opinion. Reveal and forgive the areas of my mind that do not bring You glory today. Slow me down and help me stay focused on You, Jesus. Rather than just reacting to distraction, train my mind to focus and respond to Your lead. Give me discernment and the desire to live out Philippians 4:8 daily, reminding me often to rest, pray, and reflect on Your ways. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.