Sometimes we find ourselves burdened. Perhaps it is disappointment or failure. You may be carrying the burden of a loved one or friend. This prayer exercise is to help you “Cast your cares upon the Lord, for he cares for you.” (1 Peter 5:7)
The first step is to identify your burden. What load are you carrying that is too heavy a burden for you to bear? Identify it. Then, give it to Jesus. Let him help you carry it.
We will begin this prayer exercise with some deep breathing.
Take a deep breath, as deeply as possible. Hold it for a second, and then let it out. As you exhale, constrict your diaphragm push the last remaining air out of your lungs.
Again, take a deep breath, as deeply as possible. Hold it for a second, and then let it out.
As you continue to breathe deeply, imagine breathing in the grace and peace of God. As you exhale, release anxiety and stress from your mind and your body.
Continue to breathe deeply and focus on relaxing your body and stilling your mind. Be aware of your neck and shoulders, your back, your arms and hands, even your legs and feet. Tell them to relax. Release all muscle tension in your body.
As you continue to breathe deeply and rhythmically, imagine you are walking on a beach beside a calm sea. You are carrying a heavy burden, the one you identified earlier. You struggle to walk. You feel exhausted. You are unsure you can continue.
Up ahead you see a small crowd gathering. Suddenly you realize who it is and where you are. You are at the Sea of Galilee and Jesus is talking to his disciples.
Jesus sees you and smiles. He begins walking toward you. As Jesus approaches, your burden seems to become heavier and heavier. You fall to your knees under its weight. You say to Jesus, “I can’t carry it anymore.”
Jesus smiles with such love and compassion that you are warmed from the inside out.
He says to you, “That’s okay. I’ll carry it for awhile.”
As he reaches down to take your burden you are surprised that what to you was much too heavy to carry, to Jesus seems light as a feather.
Astonished you ask Jesus, “How can you carry it so easily?” He replies, “It has been my burden all along. You were never meant to carry it. The only burden you were meant to carry is the knowledge of my love for you.”
Cast all your cares upon the Lord, for He cares for you.