Do Not Be Anxious

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.  And the Peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Jesus Christ. —Phil. 4:6-7

Set-up

Find a section of open wall space in a central location in your home, and designate this space as your Family Prayer Wall. Print the Prayer Wall Banner (link below) and tape the pages across your wall in order (we recommend that you use painter’s tape if you have it). All together, the 4-page banner should display the Philippians verses quoted above. Don’t worry if it doesn’t match your décor or preferred style — you’re not hosting a party anytime soon, right?

Begin taping blank pieces of printer paper (or a piece of large-format paper if you have it) below the banner. Find something to write with (we recommend washable markers), and you are ready to start!

Do not be Anxious

Begin an ongoing conversation with your family. Anxiety ultimately stems from self-reliance and trust in people or things other than God. Don’t shame yourself or others for feelings of anxiety — pretty much all of us are feeling some degree of anxiety right now! And — due to our individual natures — some of us are more prone to anxiety than others.

Prayer and Petition

Write the prayer requests of your family members, continuing to add petitions as they present themselves. Practice empathy by affirming family members  and writing all prayer requests and concerns on your wall, resisting the urge to “edit out” requests that seem petty or unimportant. Remember that adults and children process information and stress in different ways.  Adults tend to focus on “big picture” issues, while children and teens often focus on details. No request is too big or too small for God!

Check in (via phone, FaceTime, or at appropriate distance) with friends and family members outside of your home. Add their concerns , sorrows, and prayer intentions to your wall.

With Thanksgiving

Unfortunately, we often forget the most important ingredient in prayer— gratitude! Actively look for silver-linings — for ways that God is blessing you and your loved ones not just despite the international heath crisis (and all of the difficult social and economic effects that accompany it), but BECAUSE of those very things. Remember that our God created humankind from dust, Jesus resurrected to eternal life, and by the power of the Holy Spirit, bread becomes the true, living person of Jesus in the Eucharist. Our God — Father, Son, and Spirit — is all about breathing life into death. How is God blessing you? Write it on your wall with all of your petitions!

Give it to God

Be intentional about gathering your family in prayer every day. Present God with all of the requests and blessings that you’ve accumulated on your wall. As you present your anxieties to God, be active in your surrender. Do not return to picking up the worries that you’ve entrust to your Lord.  Actively rely him by laying down your fears, remembering to be patient with yourself and others when multiple attempts at active trust are needed to realize true surrender. 

The Peace of God

Peace ultimately flows from trust in God and belief that He will work everything together for your good and the good of others. Trust in God’s goodness is too often confused with trust in easy or comfortable circumstances. God’s ways are not our ways, and His plan (even when we do not understand it) is always good.

Guard your Hearts and Minds in Christ Jesus

Typically, we guard ourselves in Jesus through reception of the Blessed Sacrament. During this season when we are not able to receive Jesus this way, seek unity with Jesus in His Word. St. John tells us that Jesus is the Word made flesh.  The Catechism tells us that God the Father has but one Word, and His one Word is Jesus. Jesus will sustain us with His Word while we are apart from the Eucharist. 

Scripture Starting points:

Take a deep breath … and pray!  Pull out your Bible and pray through these verses.  When you find a verse that resonates with you, write it on your prayer wall. Reread it often; share it with your family!

  • Isa 41:10
  • Ps 56:8
  • Jn 14:27
  • 2Tim 1:7
  • 1Jn 4:18
  • Ps 94:19
  • Isa 43:1
  • Prv 12:25
  • Ps 23:4
  • Jos 1:9
  • Mt 6: 34
  • 1Pt 5:6-7
  • Isa 35:4
  • Lk 12:22-26
  • Ps 27:1
  • Ps 55-22
  • Mk 6:50
  • Dt 31:6
  • Isa 41:13-14
  • Ps 46:1
  • Ps 118: 6-7
  • Prv 29:25
  • Mk 4:39-40
  • Ps 34:7
  • Ps 34: 4
  • 1Pet 3:14
  • Dt 3:22
  • Rv 1:17
  • Mk 5:36
  • Rom 8:38-39