Years ago, I came across a story about a woman who struggled with anxiety and panic attacks. Longing for relief, she wisely sought help from mental health professionals. Alongside their guidance, she discovered another source of comfort: memorized prayers. Recognizing the need for a lifeline during overwhelming moments, she committed a few prayers to memory. These prayers became a tangible gift, readily accessible whenever anxiety threatened to overwhelm her. Reciting the familiar words became a refuge, a means of grounding herself in the midst of turmoil. In those moments, the memorized prayers served as more than just words; they provided a direct pathway to her faith and a deep connection to the divine presence when she needed it most. The prayer she repeated most often is from The Book of Common Prayer:

O God of peace, thou hast taught us that in returning {to You} and in rest, we shall be saved, in quietness and trust shall be our strength. By the might of thy Spirit lift us, we pray into thy holy presence, where we may be still and know that thou art God; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Since encountering this story, this prayer has become one of my favorites. I recite it slowly and meditatively during walks, while doing household chores, or running errands. Memorizing prayers is a wonderful spiritual discipline. As we internalize the words and meanings of the prayers, it deepens our connection with God and provides a consistent framework for prayer. It’s akin to learning a beloved song by heart. When we know the words well, we can sing them whenever we desire, finding comfort and strength in their familiar melody.


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