Jesus often got up “very early in the morning, while it was still dark, … and went off to a solitary place” to pray (Mark 1:35). The sixth principle of stress management is, Make a habit of personal prayer. This is the principle of meditation. Prayer is a gigantic stress-reliever. It is a God-given tool for letting off your anxieties. No matter how busy Jesus got, he made it a practice to spend time alone with God. If Jesus made time for prayer when he was busy, how much more do you and I need prayer! A little quiet time alone with God can be a decompression chamber for life’s stresses. We talk with God in prayer; we tell him what’s on our minds and let him talk to us as we read the Bible. Then we look at our schedules, evaluate our priorities, and wait for instructions. (In my book Rick Warren’s Bible Study Methods there is a detailed explanation of how to develop and continue the habit of a daily devotional time with God.)

Many of our problems come from our inability to sit still. We just don’t know how to be quiet. Most of us cannot sit in a car for five minutes without turning the radio on.

If you walk into your house and find that you’re all alone, what’s the first thing you do? You probably turn on the TV or a music CD. Silence makes us uncomfortable. But God says, “Be still, and know that I am God” (Ps. 46:10). One reason many people don’t know God personally is that they can’t be still. They’re too busy to be quiet and just think.

Someone once said, “It seems to be an ironic habit of man that when he loses his way he doubles his speed”—like an Air Force pilot in World War II who flew out over the Pacific. When he radioed in, the controller asked, “Where are you?” The pilot replied, “I don’t know, but I’m making record time!”

A lot of people are like that: they are speeding through life, but they don’t know where they are headed. We need to start our morning with prayer, as Jesus did, and then periodically through the day stop and pray again, to recharge our spiritual batteries.

Rick Warren, God’s Answers to Life’s Difficult Questions (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2008).

Check out this Bible Study based on Rick Warren’s book, God’s Answer to Life’s Difficult Questions.

These lessons are available on Amazon, as well as a part of Good Questions Have Groups Talking Subscription Service. Like Netflix for Bible Lessons, one low subscription gives you access to all our lessons–thousands of them. For a medium-sized church, lessons are as little as $10 per teacher per year.

Lessons include:

How to Cope with Stress

How Can I Rebound from Failure?

How Can I Defeat Depression?

How Can I Live Above Average?

How Can I Have Peace of Mind?

How Can I Handle Discouragement?

How Can I Overcome My Problems?

How Can I Be Confident In a Crisis?

How Can I Ever Change?

How Did I Get Myself in To This Mess?

How Can I Overcome Loneliness?

Why Is This Happening to Me?