A call to be praying together for one another, our churches, our neighbourhood, our families, our world
A joint initiative of the Baptist Union of Victoria and Ivanhoe Baptist Church

Our Prayer

Search me, God, and know my heart ;
test me and know my anxious thoughts.
See if there is any offensive way in me,
and lead me in the way everlasting.

(Psalm 139: 23-24)


Test me and know my anxious thoughts

Sometimes we feel like being anxious, frightened or fearful is a bad thing, like we’ve failed in our walk with Jesus in some way. This may be true. Our fears may be due to some area of our life where we are not walking closely with Jesus. But it is just as likely to be more complex than that.

Sometimes fear and anxiety just turn up, unannounced and unwanted. Sometimes we feel distress, nervousness and discomfort in the core of who we are because of what is happening around us, and it all seems like it’s beyond our control. Emotions well up inside of us. Feelings overtake and overwhelm us, and there is nothing we can do to stop them.

I’ve been that person who has beat up on myself in those moments. “Stop being anxious. Stop worrying. You’re got nothing to be worried about.” But the writer of Psalm 139 invites us into something new. In verse 23 He writes, “Know my anxious thoughts.” The Psalmist is inviting us to be known by our Creator. Not to hide away and suppress our anxiety and insecurities, but to bring them out into the open and be known – utterly and completely. In fact, this is what the Psalmist is describing throughout the whole Psalm. Our Creator knows us inside and out. Before our anxious words are even on our tongue, they are known by Him.

The times which we find ourselves in right now, amidst a coronavirus pandemic, mean we probably have every right to feel anxiety and stress. Economic downturns, job losses, physical distancing, self-isolation, and a virus without a vaccine – not to mention the many stresses and anxieties that existed before all this took place.

I think, the writer is giving us permission to sit with our anxiety for a while, to feel the burden and pain of the world, and perhaps even of our own situation. Don’t feel ashamed of your anxiety and fear. Be brave enough to sit with it. Sit and acknowledge it for what it is in the presence of your Loving Creator who knows you intimately.

When we know and are known by the everlasting love of God in Christ, we will find the anxiety and stress relieved, if only for a time. The All Knowing, All Powerful Creator loves us exactly as we are – anxiety and all. And the experience of truly knowing this Love, drives out all fear.

Rev Jonathan Ingram
BUV Mission Catalyst Team


Some thoughts for prayer (silent meditation before God or confess to one another)

  • What is causing me distress and anxiety in my own life at present?
    • Respond to each anxiety named: “Draw us into your love, Christ Jesus: and deliver us from fear.”
  • Where do we see anxiety displayed by others in our neighbourhood?
    • Response: “Draw us into your love, Christ Jesus: and deliver us from fear.”
  • Where do we see anxiety displayed in creation and around the world?
    • Response: “Draw us into your love, Christ Jesus: and deliver us from fear.”

A Prayer

Our efforts at faithfulness are fraught with failure,
      more often than we care to admit.
Thank you that your love for us is never wasted.

Keep us rooted in Your word,
      eating at Your table,
            and praying by your Spirit,
so that we may remember when we fail
      that we are part of your family
            not because we deserve to be,
                  but because you want us.

(Common Prayer: A Liturgy for Ordinary Radicals)

Pray also for:

  • The members of your group and their concerns
  • The three people you have committed to pray for each day who are not followers of Jesus
  • The April 15th BUV Calendar prayer – “Pray for the elderly in our midst who are most susceptible and isolated”
Couldn’t Speak the Words – Andrew Naylor, ABC Music