Too Overwhelmed to Pray? 5 Ways to Cope as an Overwhelmed Christian Empath

These 5 tips will help you cope as an overwhelmed Christian empath.

Have you ever felt too overwhelmed to pray? There’s so much going on in your life, there’s so much going on in the lives of the people that you know, and there are so many hard and heavy requests going on that you’re like “Lord, I don’t even know where to start!” You sit down and can’t pray because all your mind can focus on is all of the hurt and the difficulties going on.

Today I’m sharing five ways that you can quiet your mind when you feel too overwhelmed to pray as a highly sensitive, introverted Christian woman.


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Recently, in small group, I was listening to the ladies introduce themselves and when we got to the point of sharing prayer requests the number of requests that were shared was really overwhelming for me. Not because of the number of requests, but because there were so many heavy and hard things that everybody was going through.

I was so burdened for everybody in that group. I shared before that I am highly sensitive and introverted. I’m also an empath so I feel things really deeply and I have strong empathy and great compassion for people, especially when they’re going through hard times. Often I find myself feeling too overwhelmed to even pray.

I want to pray and intend to pray, but I’m just so weighed down and burdened by what’s been shared with me or even what I’m going through. I don’t know what to do and I can’t get the words out of my mouth.

I’m sure I’m not the only person who struggles with this and as I was thinking about this topic God really gave me five ways that you can quiet our minds and your hearts. Then you can get yourself to the point where you can pray and show up to serve and love on people the way you want to. 

Coping as an Overwhelmed Christian Empath Tip #1: Recognize the Signs

The first way to cope is to recognize the signs – what it feels like to be overwhelmed. I’ve mentioned this before in my post about coping when life gets overwhelming as an introvert. The same thing applies here, you have to learn to recognize the signs of overwhelm before you get so overwhelmed that you can’t function well.

For myself, I can’t pray, dig into scripture, or show up to serve. I know what those signs are and have learned to recognize the warning signs before I go into full burnout. You can do the same thing. What does it feel like when you are getting close to being too overwhelmed? What kind of situations can you know already going in will be overwhelming for you, so that you can prepare yourself for that?

On Sundays and Wednesdays, I am in ministry and serving mode. I know I’ll be praying with people and listening to people share their stories and hard times. So I make it a point to rest up before I go to those events because if I don’t, I’m not able to show up and serve the way that I want to. I’m not able to connect with people in a way that I really want to. 

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Coping as an Overwhelmed Christian Empath Tip #2: Set Boundaries

The second way to learn to quiet your mind and your heart is to set boundaries. Boundaries are a beautiful gift and I find that we often don’t use them enough. Set up boundaries for yourself to protect your energy, and your rest so that you can show up and serve well.

So what does this look like? Well, for one thing, a great boundary is saying no to certain ministry opportunities and certain opportunities to serve. You don’t need to serve at every single thing all of the time. You don’t even need to serve every single week if you don’t want to especially if you don’t have the capacity for that.

Have boundaries around your time because you only have a certain amount of energy and as a highly sensitive introvert or empath, it’s going to be even more limited than that. When you have to show up and interact with lots of people or be in a place that you’re not familiar with, it will drain you.

You need time to rest and recharge. Set boundaries around what you are able and willing to commit to so that you can show up to the few commitments that you have really well. 

Coping as an Overwhelmed Christian Empath Tip #3: Journaling

The third way to quiet your mind is to journal. This is something that I have had to learn to keep myself from taking everybody’s burdens home with me and living with them day in and day out. I sit down when I feel overwhelmed or super burdened, and grab my journal and pen and I pour it out onto the pages.

I write out everything that I’m feeling, everything that I’m worried about, all the concerns that I have for my friends, for my family, for my loved ones. I write out everything that I’m feeling and thinking about all the requests that have been shared with me. I get it all out of my head and this is my way of laying it at the foot of the cross and leaving it there.

Once it’s on paper and out of your head, you can begin to pray. You’ll be able to talk to God and pray over all the things that you have been concerned about and burdened for. You have to get it out first because you can’t walk around with it in your head or in your heart. You can’t carry that weight with you because it will weigh you down and you won’t be able to function. 

Coping as an Overwhelmed Christian Empath Tip #4: Get outside

The fourth way that you can quiet your mind is to just get outside. Being outside is grounding and calming all on its own. There’s something about being in nature and inhaling fresh air that instantly calms your nerves, it calms your mind, and you’re able to just relax, inhale the fresh air, and slow down. 

That’s the power of being out in God’s creation. You can do this even when you’re at church. I have done this before when I have been in a class or I’ve been preparing to go and serve on the prayer team.  I take five minutes and go outside.

I take the long way around to get to where I’m going, or I walk somewhere on the property and I stand outside and I  close my eyes and I take deep breaths as I’m standing in the sun inhaling the fresh air. It always grounds me and calms me down and then I’m able to go back and serve, and re-engage with people as part of corporate worship and fellowship.

Getting outside is a great way to pause, reset, and rest. Especially when you have like a short amount of time it can be a great thing. 

Coping as an Overwhelmed Christian Empath Tip #5: Self-Care

The fifth way to quiet your mind when you’re feeling too overwhelmed to pray, serve or show up is to remember self-care. I know there’s this line of thinking that says that self-care is selfish. That’s not true! True self-care is not ignoring your responsibilities and ignoring other people to go off and do what you want to do.

It’s about resting and recharging so that you can get back to the things that God has called you to do. This is so important for everybody and it’s super important when you are feeling overwhelmed by all of the things. As an introvert, a highly sensitive person, and an empath, you must take care of yourself.

Self-care is not optional. You need to make sure that you’re getting enough rest and fueling your body with good nourishing food. One of the worst things that you can do if you are introverted or anything like that, is have lots of caffeine and lots of sugar. Your body struggles with that because it’s too much for your system so you can’t function. You can learn more about this in my course, Introverted Faith.

Feed and nourish yourself well, get lots of rest, drink water,  and move your body. Take care of your temple, of your physical body. Do all of those things, because that’s going to help you show up well and serve and be there for the people that God has put into your path.

If you need any kind of support, therapy, counseling, coaching, a mentor, or discipleship get it! Take care of those needs. Take care of yourself, because when you do that, then you are able to show up at your best and do your work as unto the Lord.

Final Thoughts on Coping as an Overwhelmed Christian Empath

When you take care of yourself and are well rested, well fed, and exercise regularly you’ll feel good. You’ll be able to pray, be in group settings, and show up and serve in a way that you cannot do when you’re depleted and run down. I really want to encourage you because you’re going to be overwhelmed.

You’re going to feel like it’s too much. You’re going to be heavily burdened by the hard things that the people around you are going through. That’s just how you’re built and it’s a good thing. You’ve got to learn how to manage that, how to not take that home with you, and how to not carry that around with you.

If you do,  you’re going to be ineffective in the kingdom, and unable to show up and do what God has created you to do. Take these five tips and try them out, make them your own, and figure out how to take care of yourself.

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You don’t have to feel overwhelmed as a Christian empath with these 5 tips.

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