Faith

Scared, stressed, sian, sad, seething? Whatever you’re feeling, pray

by Jabez Goh // November 2, 2021, 6:30 pm

5 different emotions

How have you been doing emotionally?

The COVID-19 Stabilisation Phase has gone on for longer than expected, with restrictions extending to late November. With cases still on the rise, it also seems unlikely that the upcoming review will loosen any measures. 

Hence, we may be feeling a whole range of emotions in this time. We may not even know how to articulate them.

When was the last time you talked to God about how you felt? God wishes for us to approach Him regardless of our situation or how we feel. He wants us to share our troubles with Him. He promises to guard our hearts and minds with peace that transcends all understanding (Philippians 4:7).

Whatever you’re feeling today, you can talk about it to God — here’s how. 

Perhaps the most common negative emotion we all feel during this pandemic is fear, and rightly so. 

I vividly remember how I felt seeing social media posts about COVID-19 when it first reached the shores of Singapore. I was so afraid back then I wore masks even before it became mandatory.

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Recently, I also came down with a high fever and was scared that I had contracted the virus. It didn’t help that COVID-19 infections and deaths seemed to be increasing every day.

When fear strikes, remember that God is with us (Isaiah 41:10) and pray: 

“Dear God, I thank You for always being by my side even when I don’t feel it. During these alarming times, help me trust in Your Word when it reminds me that I do not need to fear. Cover me with Your protection and help me express the spirit of power, love and self-discipline you already gave me (2 Timothy 1:7). Give me courage that comes not from believing in my own strength, but from knowing that You are in control of every situation.” 

COVID-19 has also disrupted our daily lives. Students have to take examinations, and not being able to study with others may make them feel unprepared. Many also study from home where their environment may not be conducive. 

These are just some situations that can make this pandemic a stressful time. I definitely felt stress when I had to complete school film projects that were extra difficult due to COVID-19 restrictions. 

You can command storms to be still, so I know You can calm my mind.

Even now I see many people in my life struggling with stress, and I am sure many of you reading this are facing some level of stress as well. 

Thankfully, the Bible tells us that God will give us rest when we come to Him. So let’s go to Him and give our burdens to Him:

“Heavenly Father, remove my worries and anxieties as I place them at Your feet. You can command storms to be still, so I know You can calm my mind. Thank You for Your promise to sustain me and strengthen me. Help me to focus on You through my stress, so that I will not be anxious about the things of tomorrow, but have Your peace at all times.”

Being stuck at home most of the time has made many of us feel bored. There’s nothing explicitly wrong with feeling this way, but the Bible does warn us against idle hands. 

Verses such as 1 Timothy 5:13 and 2 Thessalonians 3:11 tell us that attitudes and choices which arise from being idle can lead to sinful actions. 

Proverbs 6:6-11 advises us to be like the ant, constantly working for a purpose even without anyone telling it to. So we should definitely strive to spend our time productively.

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Yet there is much we can do while at home during this pandemic. There are many free online resources to learn new skills. There is always the option to help out with more housework. We can also invest more time into building our relationship with God by reading Scripture.

Reflecting honestly, a big reason I felt bored is because I did not put in the effort to take part in these difficult but valuable activities. If you struggle with feeling sian like I did, here’s a prayer you can make:

“Lord, I thank You for the blessing of having more free time. I pray to not become idle and slothful at home. Instead, help me to use my limited time on earth to constantly improve myself and serve others. Give me wisdom and discipline so I may be productive and not let boredom hinder me from following Your will.” 

Living in a fallen world, bad things happen in our lives all the time. We face problems every day with issues like our finances, relationships and faith. 

With more than 400 COVID-19 deaths in Singapore so far, some of us may also have personally lost loved ones or know others who have. Going through such suffering brings great sorrow into our lives.

The Bible does not shy away from sorrow. King David constantly pours out his feelings of misery in the book of Psalms. There were even times he felt like God had forsaken him (Psalms 22:1-2).

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Like David, when I am sad and distressed, I sometimes wonder why God has not saved me from my predicaments. I am sure I am not alone.

But when we face sadness and sorrow, let us choose to pray like Jesus. Facing the prospect of death on the cross, Jesus’ soul was overwhelmed with “sorrow to the point of death” (Matthew 26:38).

He prayed so fervently His sweat was like drops of blood (Luke 22:44). We can learn to pray from Jesus’ example:

“Father God, I feel great despair and grief in these times of trouble. May your hand of compassion and mercy be upon me, and let me take comfort in the refuge of your great love. If it is possible, rescue me from the source of my sorrow. If not, help me be like Jesus, to be brave enough to say ‘not my will, but yours be done’ (Luke 22:42). Be with me in my weakness, lead me to become stronger and more joyful in the end.” 

When people or things impact us in a negative way, it is easy to feel anger towards them. 

The chaos of COVID-19 has also resulted in pandemic rage — a phenomenon where people are enraged by what’s happening around them as a result of the coronavirus. We could be feeling bitter at the spike in cases or the increasingly restricting safety measures.

Anger is perhaps one of the most common emotions we harbour. But it is when we are seething with rage that anger turns to danger.

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Regardless of who or what is causing us to seethe, the Bible clearly tells us that anger can lead to sin if not properly handled. 

Proverbs 15:18 and Proverbs 29:11 warns us that lashing out uncontrollably because of rage will only lead to more problems. Ephesians 4:26-27 reveals that by bottling up anger and allowing it to linger, we give the devil a chance to bring sin into our lives. 

Of course, anger isn’t sinful in itself. The Bible approves of righteous indignation, which is anger directed towards what angers God, such as sinful behaviour. 

But for those moments otherwise, do remember to cover yourself with prayer:

“God, forgive me if I have sinned in my rage. Soothe my temper, and help me act with patience and love. Guide me to focus on Your peace instead of my frustrations. Fill me with the Holy Spirit so I can be slow to anger and abound in steadfast love. Remove my resentment against those who wronged me, for I know You want me to overcome evil with good, to forgive and restore, and not destroy.”

Whatever we’re facing, the next time we experience negative emotions, let us not bottle them up and suffer in silence.

God is always there. He is waiting for us to seek Him in prayer. 

How wonderful it is to know God understands what we are feeling.

He will always journey with us through every moment, through the valleys and the mountains.

THINK + TALK

  1. Scared, stressed, sian, sad or seething — which of these are you struggling with right now?
  2. Take a moment to talk to God about it. You can use the prayers in the article. 
  3. What is one practical and positive thing you can do right now that will help you step out of this emotion and into something better? 
About the author

Jabez Goh

Jabez loves consuming international media, such as Japanese manga, Korean dramas, and Western tabletop games. Locally, he loves creating media content through writing.