How to Handle Pressure by Lisa Burkhardt Worley

I’m not my best when under pressure. What about you? How we handle pressure can be a barometer of how close we are to God, but sometimes stress or pressure from our lives can get the best of us.

In my case, I am in the midst of the most difficult semester yet as I work on my Doctor of Ministry. I find myself asking, Did you really call me back to school? Now, three years into the process, I think the answer is yes but as I move forward, I’m having to lean on God more to guide me through the requirements, as the bar has been raised. I am also traveling more than ever due to a combination of my husband’s work and ministry travel. On top of documentary producing, I am preparing for a large broadcasting conference next month that takes a lot of advance producing and planning as well.

Do you feel my pressure? Pressure can make me a little edgy and I don’t like that about myself. I often feel that no one understand the pressure I am under. Maybe you feel that way as well.

So what is the answer for pressure? We can learn from Jesus. When Jesus was under pressure, He always went into the presence of the Father through prayer. He escaped the pressure of the crowds by getting alone with His Abba Daddy. He didn’t overcommit because He only went forward with what His Father directed. When He felt the most extreme pressure—to the point of sweating drops of blood prior to His arrest and subsequent crucifixion—he prayed, “’Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.’ An angel from heaven appeared to him and strengthened him. And being in anguish, he prayed more earnestly, and his sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground.” I believe when we are in any form of anguish, God strengthens us as well through the comfort provided by the Holy Spirit.

This morning, after a sleepless night because of the pressure, I went to the Father in prayer. I asked for His strength. I asked for His wisdom as I tried to complete school projects. I asked for good health as my busy travel schedule continues, and I asked for Him to help me to organize my time, as well as my environment.

(There are currently unpacked suitcases all over the kitchen floor). I believe having order is very important when under pressure.

So what about you? Are you feeling some pressure right now? Stop whatever you’re doing and walk into the Father’s presence through prayer. He wants to navigate you through whatever stress you are facing—but you have to ask for His help.

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, 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 your minds in Christ Jesus.

(Philippians 4:6-7 NIV)

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