SIT & Pray is essentially a moment to reset and try again.
SIT & Pray is an acronym my husband and I came up with. We were inspired by Psalm 4:4, where King David wrote…
“Be angry and do not sin; reflect in your heart while on your bed and be silent. Selah Offer sacrifices in righteousness and trust in the LORD.” -CBS version
With SIT & Pray can use our negative emotions as a reminder to go to the Lord.
In going to the Lord with our emotions, we can actually turn adverse circumstances or negative thoughts and emotions into blessings and moments of praise.
You may not be able to practice SIT & Pray every time you are upset, it’s not always practical. I tell my clients to LOOK for opportunities to practice SIT & Pray at least once daily. This way, you will begin the process of re-training your brain on how to work through anger in the moment.
You begin taking a productive and healthier approach to working through anger by looking for opportunities to practice calming down.
Think of looking for SIT & Pray moments like driving…
When driving, we are always on alert and looking out for danger; we are in a protective state and are better able to avoid crashes because we are one step ahead by driving proactively. We can apply that idea to our emotional state. By being alert and protective of your thoughts, you can avoid more emotional “crashes.”
The Steps of SIT & Pray: Stop, Inhale, Tune In and Pray
1. Tell your kiddos you need to take a moment to calm down. Either go to another room or the bathroom or if you are not able to leave the area your kids are at, try to move to another area.
For example, if you are on the floor, get up and sit on a chair or turn around and face the other direction. If you are driving, pull over at a safe location and if you need to get out of the car for a minute (stay next to the car, do not leave kiddos unattended), if in a store, take your items quickly through check out, or go to customer service and ask they hold the items while you and your kids step out of the store for a few minutes.
If you are with older children or other adults, excuse yourself and find a room with privacy, the bathroom is usually the best place because it usually has a door you can lock, even if it’s a stall in a public bathroom.
There are all types of scenarios; the point is to reset and make a physical move to begin that reset.
2. Take a few deep breaths. In for 7 seconds, out for 8 seconds. Repeat 2-3 times.
3. How are you feeling right now? Name it. Here are some examples: Angry? Overstimulated? Sad? Tired? Afraid? Insecure? Disgusted? Offended? Etc?
4. Say this out loud (even if it’s a whisper). It’s okay. I am feeling [name feeling/s] right now. Anyone would feel this way right now. I am good at having feelings and recognizing them.
5. Take another deep breath. In for 7 seconds, out for 8 seconds. Repeat if needed.
6. What is going on for me right now? What is going on with them? My body is reacting to the circumstance and thoughts I am having. What about this situation is true, and what is a story I am telling myself? Am I feeling insecure or afraid? If so, what is that root fear? Am I trying to protect myself from something? If so, what do I need to do? How can I redirect these circumstances when I return to them?
7. Take another deep breath. In for 7 seconds, out for 8 seconds. Repeat if needed.
8. Dear Lord, I am so grateful to you. Thank you for being the Lord of my life. I am loved and safe with you. I am feeling [emotion] and am struggling with [challenge]. Please forgive me for the wrong I have done in this circumstance. I want to please you and show your love to others. Please give me wisdom, discernment, strength, clarity, awareness, and a grateful heart right now. Help me choose love, peace, and grace. Thank you for your grace and your love. In Jesus’ name, amen.
9. Take another deep breath. In for 7 seconds, out for 8 seconds. Repeat if needed.
10. Go back when you are ready.
Remember, SIT & PRAY is an exercise…
It is not practical to use this every single time you are upset, especially when taking care of littles or if you are in the middle of a busy moment.
The more you practice it, the more you will be able to use these tips within the moment without even leaving. There are some times you must leave, especially if you are about to or have gotten physical or started screaming.
Practice SIT & Pray when you can and as much as you can.
You can use these tips to process in your head wherever you are at!
My prayer and hope is you will be able to apply this to your daily life.
Please don’t hesitate to email me if you have any questions about how to apply SIT & Pray in your daily life.
Learn how to work with Natalie to overcome destructive anger and burnout HERE!