The link between prayer and emotional control is just one of the principles that my special guest, author and speaker Rev. Lori Hartin, addresses today.
Rev. Lori founded Ladybug Women’s Ministries with one goal in mind—to remind every lady that no matter how tiny and unimportant she may feel, she is an important part of God’s plan.
Rev. Lori is a member of the American Association of Christian Counselors and her speaking topics include blended families, miscarriage, Proverbs 31, spiritual warfare, stress management, and others.
Connect with Rev. Lori directly at https://www.ladybugministries.org.
1. What are your favorite scriptures that help you manage your emotions and why?
- “The LORD builds up Jerusalem; He gathers together the outcasts of Israel. He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds” (Psalm 147:2-3, NKJV).
This verse brings to mind a loving Father who tenderly cares for my deep wounds; gathering me up into His arms, and carrying my tired, weary heart when I feel like an outcast. He is working to build me up despite the world trying to tear me down. I am His beloved!
- “But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things!” (Galatians 5:22-23, NLT)
This verse reminds me that my emotions do not have to control me. I can let the Holy Spirit temper my words, deeds, and thoughts. He will produce good and lasting fruit that spreads the gentle fragrance of Christ to those around me. I want to be that lush tree, bearing good fruit that is pleasing to Him.
- “Keep vigilant watch over your heart; that’s where life starts.” (Proverbs 4:23, MSG)
This verse gently teaches us to guard the core of our being because everything we do flows from our hearts. This is so true. Our words and our actions are a reflection of our hearts.
What’s deep inside always comes out. I used to keep a quote on my desk to look at daily: The human heart beats 100,000 times each day—make those beats count!
- “When someone is hurting or brokenhearted, the Eternal moves in close and revives him in his pain.” (Psalm 34:18, The Voice)
Remember the Tin Man’s words near the end of The Wizard of Oz? “Now I know I have a heart, ‘cause it’s breaking.” It’s such a strange phenomenon that the heart can feel the physical pain of being emotionally broken. We’ve all been there and it’s a terrible feeling. Yet, God can revive us in our deepest times of emotional pain and wounding.
What are 3 of your best tips to help others manage their emotions in Godly ways?
1. Never start your day without prayer. Many times, we can be tempted to react from our emotions. While we do have feelings and they’re important, it’s also important to remember that to make a decision simply based on feelings can often end with disastrous results.
When we have emotional storms, it is best to always take it to the One who said, “Peace, be still!” to the waves.
2. Have an objective and Godly accountability partner that can help you sift through your emotional responses.
Be brave enough and wise enough to find someone will be honest with you, not just always affirm you.
Scripture tells us that “Open rebuke is better than hidden love. Wounds inflicted by the correction of a friend prove he is faithful; the abundant kisses of an enemy show his lies.” (Proverbs 27:5-6)
3. Be sure that you are getting plenty of rest, have a good exercise plan, and are following a balanced nutrition plan.
Lack of these things can wreak havoc on our emotions! I can’t tell you how many times I have stressed this to others. God designed many natural things to help us manage our emotions.
It has been said that food is the most overused coping mechanism and exercise is the most underutilized antidepressant.
I firmly believe this to be true. Let’s flip that saying!
Consider the Message translation of 1 Corinthians 6:19-20:
Didn’t you realize that your body is a sacred place, the place of the Holy Spirit? Don’t you see that you can’t live however you please, squandering what God paid such a high price for? The physical part of you is not some piece of property belonging to the spiritual part of you. God owns the whole works. So let people see God in and through your body.”
Although the main point of this Scripture passage is to teach sexual purity, I do believe we can benefit from applying the principles of this verse to our physical health.
4. What sabotaging thoughts (lies) do Believers need to release that keep them in bondage to negative emotions?
When I was very young, I heard a motivational speaker caution our high-school audience that “What you think about comes about.” A similar Biblical perspective can be found in the book of Job (see Job 3:25).
Any thought that opposes Scripture is a sabotaging thought. It is a lie, and it’s been whispered to you by the father of all lies. Remind yourself that you are fearfully and wonderfully made! Know that truth in your soul full well! (Psalm 139:14, NIV).
Additionally, that which we focus on can become an idol. I can tell you from firsthand experience that whatever has your mind captivated—that is what you are worshipping.
In order to escape this bondage, you must set your mind on things above. At first, it may take deliberate effort. But God is faithful! He tells us that when we call on Him, He will answer us!
Retrain your mind to think on things that are lovely, honest, and praiseworthy. This practice will allow you to release the negative thoughts that the enemy constantly bombards you with over the course of any given day.
Get into the habit of ignoring him, just as you would a pesky fly – swat him away with Scripture.
4. What are some things Believers can do at the “moment of decision” when they are tempted to practice destructive behavior when emotionally upset?
My own health and nutrition program teaches three principles known as “Stop. Challenge. Choose.” While this strategy was developed to address destructive eating patterns, I believe it can be applied to other areas of our lives as well.
When we’re in the midst of being tempted with destructive behavior, consider the approach of “Stop. Challenge. Choose.” in this way:
- Stop – Take a breath, whisper a prayer as simple as “Lord, please help me.”
Kim’s Note: I wrote about the power in simple prayer of which Rev. Lori speaks in an article entitled, “Dad, Help!“
- Challenge – Ask yourself, “What is causing me to consider this behavior?”
- Choose – Determine to avoid the temptation. You will only regret the harmful behavior that is made in a moment, but can have lasting effects.
Additionally, practice the principle of praying without ceasing. Have a conversation with God throughout your day, and in all situations. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure!
The Bible tells us to put on our armor and equip ourselves with truth, righteousness, peace, and to carry the Sword of the Spirit.
We only deceive ourselves if we try to approach our day without bathing it in prayer and seeking the Lord in all that we do. A heart turned toward God should temper every activity and decision in a way that honors Him.
In my ministry, I am careful to remind women everywhere that the work they do has eternal effects – but they must decide if the effects will be blessed or cursed.
Connect with Rev. Lori at https://www.ladybugministries.org.
I thank Rev. Lori for sharing her wisdom with us!
Be blessed in health, healing and wholeness,
Creator of the Take Back Your Temple program