Praying before and during a test can help overcome test anxiety. Test anxiety affects everyone depending on how much pressure is felt to make a good grade. Test anxiety can range from mild to severe. When test anxiety is severe, studies show that students receive scores lower than those of other students who do not feel nervous, physically ill or distracted during a test. Test anxiety can occur in school, in college or in the work place.
Here is a prayer for you that can be prayed before the test and also has short, one-sentence prayers that can be prayed during the test to help you feel calmer and more focused.
Test Anxiety Prayer Using Scriptures
Repeat the following Scripture to begin the prayer:
Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. Psalm 139:23 NIV
Lord, I thank you that you know my heart and my thoughts. I thank you that you are the Good Teacher and that You do not need to test me in high pressure situations where I’m nervous about whether I’ll be able to perform well. Instead you know my true talents, my character and my capabilities. You know the hours of study I have put in and you know how well I understand the material for the upcoming test. It comforts me that you know my anxious thoughts and take them into account. I open myself up to you and your complete knowledge of everything I think and worry about.
I pray that during the test if I begin to feel anxious that you will remind me to pray, “Lord, you know my thoughts and my true capabilities.”
As I pray this with confidence, I will do it based on the truth you tell me in the Bible about how well you know my thoughts:
“You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar.” Psalm 139:2
I pray that if during the test of my mind seems to go blank that you will remind me to pray: “Lord, remind me of everything I need to remember.”
As I pray this with confidence, I will do it based on the truth you tell me in the Bible about your ability to remind me of all things:
“But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.” John 14:26 NIV
I pray that if during the test I begin experiencing physical symptoms of nerves like a headache or feeling sweaty and anxious that you will remind me to pray: “Lord, heal all of my diseases.”
As I pray this with confidence, I will do it based on the truth you tell me in the Bible about your ability to heal my body.
“God forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases.” Psalm 103:3 NIV
I pray that if during the test I become so wrapped up in distractions either inside my head or outside as I watch the clock or compare myself to other students who seem to be breezing through the test that you will remind me to pray, “Lord, keep my mind on track.”
As I pray this with confidence, I will do it based on the truth you tell me in the Bible about your ability to help us keep our minds focused.
“You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you.” Isaiah 26:3
I pray that if I get a test result back where test anxiety caused me to make a grade that doesn’t reflect my mastery and knowledge of the subject, I pray that you will give me the courage and wisdom as to whether to speak with my teacher, professor or supervisor about the problems I experienced. Please guide me whether to ask for advice on earning extra credit or getting help on study habits or test taking skills and strategies. I will pray, “Lord, show me how to recover and be restored.”
As I pray this with confidence, I do it based on the truth that you are a God of second chances, based on what the Bible says about your ability to redeem and restore.
“And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast.” I Peter 5:10
Most of all, I thank you that no matter what my hopes, dreams, challenges and fears are, the closer I become to you and the more I learn to depend on you, the more confident I will become that you are there with me in all stressful situations of my life.
Research on Test Anxiety behind this Prayer
This prayer covers what researchers term the 3 dimensions of test anxiety:
Worrying about failing the test
The actual physical sensations you might feel during the test that are symptoms of your anxiety (examples heart beating faster, palms sweating)
Distractions during the test that are often nervous habits that cause you to lose focus
Useful treatments include therapy that helps you overcome negative thought patterns that are interfering with your ability to perform well on tests. Also, there are classes and groups to help you become more confident in your study skills and testing skills.
Experts are currently looking into the problem of test anxiety and its causes. For instance, studies on the topic of math anxiety show nearly half of all Americans suffer from a feeling that they are not “good” at math. According to Jo Boaler, professor of mathematics education at Stanford University, this probably originates from the timed test drills in elementary school where you must quickly write down the answers to addition or multiplication problems. Educators are now discovering that this causes students to simply memorize facts without really understanding the concept of the mathematical principles. Understanding and appreciating these principles is crucial later on in higher math which is conceptual in nature. Making matters worse, brain researchers have also found that under pressure, memorized facts become blocked by the testing worries, causing the students to lose confidence in their abilities.
Other Helpful Links
Final exam prayer with scriptures
College stress prayer strategy
Finding your personal meditation and prayer place at college
Overcoming procrastination prayer
Anxiety calming prayer
Fear of public speaking prayer
Copyright Karen Barber 2014. All rights reserved.
There have been a few dreams during my 20-something years that have left me frightened. But one dream in particular left me speechless, dizzy, and nauseous from fear. In fact, I don’t think it was a dream, but instead was a night terror – the kind of dream where you cannot fall back asleep because it felt so real.
At that moment, I felt anything but peaceful. Since then, I’ve had to fight for peace to invade the anxiety.
I’m here to tell you that if you suffer from anxiety, I know what it feels like. And I’m also here to tell you that if you suffer from downright fear, I know what that feels like too.
The truth is that God did not create us to be a fear-filled people – an anxious people. Instead, He created us for peace, goodness, love, and lasting purpose – free from the chains of fear. It’s difficult to focus on the good things from God when your mind is stuck on the bad, right? When you can’t stop thinking about the dream you had, the unknown future, the weight of making big decisions or the pit that won’t leave your stomach?
We need prayer. We need a solid foundation on which to stand. And we need to be a people who cry out to Jesus when we’re tempted to fall into deep fear and anxiety.
Cry out to Jesus with these 10 prayers for #anxiety & fear! #prayer Click To Tweet
1. A Prayer for a Quiet Mind
“Lord, quiet my mind in this moment. Make fear disappear. In its place, plant truth. You are a God who saves, who loves, who comforts, who protects. Quiet my mind so that I can focus on you and your power. Make all thoughts that are not of you disappear. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.”
2. A Prayer for a Peaceful Heart
“Heavenly Father, my heart feels anything but peaceful in this moment. I feel afraid. But you promise in John 14 that you have given us peace in the form of the Holy Spirit. I know I can trust your promises, and I know you are not a God who lies (Numbers 23:19). So, please provide that peace to me now. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.”
3. A Prayer for the Unknown
“God, I am afraid of the things I do not know. I want to be excited for the future, but I find myself scared and overwhelmed. Please give me wisdom to move forward when needed, and the knowledge to know when to stand back and wait. Just as Solomon asked for wisdom in 1 Kings 3, I ask you for wisdom now, Lord. I surrender the future into your almighty hands. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.”
4. A Prayer for the Absence of Fear
“Lord, I ask for peace to enter & fear to leave! I ask for the absence of fear in my mind, my heart, my soul, my thoughts, and my words. I ask for deep faith to flood the fearful places – that I would remember your power and faithfulness in moments of fear. Keep the evil one away. Draw near as you promise in James 4:8. As I draw near to you, Lord, please draw near to me. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.”
5. A Prayer for the Presence of Faith
“God, I believe in you and your power. I believe in your gift of salvation. I believe in grace and mercy. Thank you for making it possible for me to spend eternity with you! What a gift! Lord, I believe. Please help my unbelief in moments of fear and anxiety. I ask for more faith, for more opportunities to grow and become like Christ. Strengthen my faith, especially in moments when I find it hard to believe. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.”
6. A Prayer for Strength
“Heavenly Father, in Joshua 1 you tell your people to ‘be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.’ Lord, I want to be strong. Please supply me with strength and power, wisdom and knowledge. Make me obedient to your ways, able to fight fear, and victorious over anxiety. I trust that you are with me wherever I go, Father. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.”
7. A Prayer for Understanding Community
“God, please surround me with people who understand the pain of anxiety. Provide a community of people who can uplift and encourage, reminding me of truth when I need to be reminded. I ask for people who are gentle and kind, yet bold and honest. You created us to live in authentic community. Lord, give me courage to be vulnerable with those I can trust. In Jesus Name, Amen.”
8. A Prayer for Demolished Strongholds
“God, your word says that we should ‘demolish strongholds and every pretense that sets itself up against the knowledge of God…” (2 Corinthians 10:5) I know there are lies about fear and anxiety that I have believed. I ask that you would bring those false strongholds to light, that I would be able to defeat them with your truth. Anything that is of the world – meant to frighten me and cause anxiety – I ask that you would wipe it away. Help me to focus on you and your truth. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.”
9. A Prayer for Captive Thoughts
“Lord, 2 Corinthians 10:5 says, ‘…take every thought captive to make it obedient to Christ.’ When I am tempted to fear and give in to anxiety, I ask that you would stop me, causing me to take every thought captive. Fill my mind with truth so that I can easily remember what is noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent and praiseworthy (Phil. 4:8). Take away the evil, frightening, anxious thoughts and replace them with your powerful, living truth. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.”
10. A Prayer for Protection
“Almighty God, some of my fear comes from feeling alone, unsafe, or unprotected. I know that you are the faithful protector. You say ‘don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.’ (Matthew 10:31) I ask that you would show me your faithful protection, and help me to believe in your powerful authority over my life. You are sovereign. I know I can trust in you. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.”
Bonus! A Prayer for Light to Invade Darkness
“Father, in John 1:5 you tell me that, ‘light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.’ What a promise! I ask for your light – the light that has victory over all darkness – to invade my heart. When my mind feels dark and my heart feels heavy, fill me with your promise of light. You make all things new, Lord. Even my fear & anxiety! Thank you for your light – for the promise that darkness will not win. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.”
Prayer is powerful. God promises to hear our prayers, and when we don’t know what to prayer, Jesus is faithful to intercede on our behalf.
I encourage you to let these prayers be a starting ground for fierce time on your knees. Write them down. Repeat them often. Make these prayers the song of your heart – especially in moments of intense fear & anxiety.
Anxiety does not have control over you or me – no matter how frightening the dreams or rampant the fear. The Lord does have control. And our best way to communicate with Him is through earnest, honest prayer.
Grab the printable version of these 10 prayers below!
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