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Pray and Do

I am not a doctor, psychiatrist, or pharmacist. I am/was a pastor for nearly 25 years (see also: Why I Am So Tired). I've heard these statements often from adults, teenagers, and even elementary students in a pastoral counseling meeting:


"I've prayed! Why do I still have anxiety!"
"I am tired of praying."
"Is God listening?"
"Why won't He take this away?"

There is a fallacy that can exist in the world of church and Christianity, and this is it: If I act my best and pray really hard, God will release this anxiety from me. Christians use that logic on a lot of things in their life, actually. Yes, to all that. Yet, I am here to offer an additional part of the solution. You need to pray, but you also may need to follow the professional advice of your doctor.



For some people, anxiety is intertwined in DNA. I had an Uncle who had two heart attacks. I never knew this until I had one. My DNA, and had I known this, I likely would have altered some things, predisposed me to heart disease. I've never been overweight or had high blood pressure. Never smoked a day in my life. All indicators for my heart issues were unseen. I was running the day I had a heart attack. I have always been active. But, if I knew this DNA info, I would've gotten some checkups and maybe seen a cardiologist along the way. Or at least checked the heart disease box on the medical questionnaire.


This is why doctors make a Family History in an evaluation. It is a predictor of your health. I needed a stent, I actually have two, and now I'm good to go. Imagine if I said, 'Nah, I'm good. Leave that artery 80% clogged. I'm sure it will clear up as I sit here eating more lard. I don't eat lard.


In the same way, we see heart disease, we need to see anxiety. I needed two stents and a temporary statin. But, every day I take a Bayer aspirin. If your doctor recommends, a temporary pharmaceutical may be needed so that your dealing with anxiety can be minimized as you learn the skills necessary to live healthier. The goal of every doctor and psychiatrist I know always uses medicine as a last resort and sees it as a short term prescription. Don't quantify the word short. Think of it in the scope of a lifetime.


So, pray without ceasing and trust that part of the answer to those prayers is to follow the professional advice of a good doctor and psychiatrist.


p.s Jesus walked around with his personal physician, Luke (which he never needed), but maybe Matthew or Mark did?

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