If/when you pray: Be careful of praying under the influence of fear.
There is power in confession.
I confess, for the bulk of my life I’ve lived under a cloud of fear. Every single decision I made during that time was made our of fear – fear of lack, fear of being alone, fear of being rejected, fear of enduring physical pain….
Fear ruled me.
It’s interesting to note that during this time I was well versed in biblical knowledge. I could easily recite scripture that reminded me not to live in fear, but they remained nothing more than words that failed to penetrate my heart. I. WAS. RULED. BY. FEAR.
As are most of us.
We don’t realize how much traumatic experiences in our past shape our present and future. The trauma leaves an imprint. That imprint dictates how we respond to the world.
I speak from experience.
Fear is dangerous to those who claim to be believers because it is an indicator of limited faith. Limited faith is an indicator of limited understanding of God’s love.
If we TRULY grasped the love of God (I’m speaking to believers here) WE WOULD NEVER FEAR. Why would we? What is there to fear if God be for us?
Not lack – For God provides
Not loneliness – For God is with us
Not the world – For God has overcome
Not death – For God has conquered death
We SPEAK this, but we don’t BELIEVE it.
We say God will provide, but the way some of us freak out the moment our funds get low tells a different story.
We say God will keep is in “perfect peace” if we keep our mind stayed on him, but we worry about finances, health, kids, careers, the government, crime, our futures, etc. You CANNOT trust (faith) and worry (fear). They are oil and water, they cannot and will not mix.
Fear, like the enemy, comes to steal, kill, and destroy (peace, happiness, relationship with God, relationships with others, progress, unity, faith, etc.). It has no place in a believer’s heart. It is like the weed amongst the seed. If you don’t uproot the fear, it’ll grow until it chokes out the beauty of faith and leaves you with nothing but bitterness and ugliness of the weeds.
Don’t get me wrong, fear has its place. The fear you’d feel if you’re being threatened with violence, if you’re in an accident, if you wake up and find someone in your home who should not be – all rational, all valid, all necessary for our survival. But once those threats are over, we should be able to let go of the fear and move into a calm, stress-free, fearless state.
Except many of us don’t.
I write this because I recently dealt with a situation in which God didn’t answer a prayer the way I wanted. I admit it, I was MAD. Disappointed. Brooding. Lol. But I went back into prayer and study to ask what am I doing wrong here….why are some prayers no matter how much faith, left unanswered.
The answer was clear as day – you think you’re praying from faith, but you’re praying from fear – and you do so because you do not trust.
I couldn’t deny what was so blatantly true. I WAS praying from a place of fear. My prayers did sound like desperate pleas to a weak and limited God instead of confident request to the Creator and Source of ALL. I AM THAT I AM.
How can you pray in fear and stand in faith? You can’t. Those prayers were dead before they even left my heart because they were weighed down by fear.
Fear leads you to pray YOUR WILL be done.
Faith allows you to pray, “GOD’S WILL be done” – and nothing more.
Most of us won’t do that because we don’t trust God’s Will, we fear it.
We fear God’s Will because we don’t trust God’s love.
We don’t trust God’s love because we don’t KNOW God.
I’ve said before and I’ll say it again: YOU CANNOT TRUST WHO YOU DO NOT KNOW.
I believe God listens to desperate prayers when necessary – i.e. when someone is in a life threatening situation that requires such emotion. Sadly, most of our fears have nothing to do with life or death – it is simply a lack of faith that comes from a lack of understanding of our Creator’s Unfailing Love.
The key to countering fear is faith. How do you counter? With God’s promises and prayer, consistantly. I’ve taken to confessing all of my fears ahead of my prayers…laying them at the feet of God and asking that those fears be replaced with peace and trust. This allows me to get out of my head and pray from a place a genuine trust.
Sometimes that means I don’t pray about whatever it is I desire; instead, I deal with the fear I’m allowing to destroy my faith in that moment. It doesn’t always change the situation, but it does change my perspective and I always end in a place of peace that remains with me throughout my day. It reminds me to BE STILL and KNOW that I AM is GOD; and the same God who HAS BEEN WILL CONTINUE TO BE [at least for me].
Paul was content in all circumstances because he KNEW the love of God through and through. That PERFECT LOVE CAST OUT any fears he had in his heart in regards to the things/ways of this world. This is why Paul was able to be such a driving force in the New Testament- EVERYTHING HE DID was from LOVE not FEAR.
This world bombards us with fear at every turn, but we don’t have to recieve it. For God has not given us a spirit that makes us a slave again to fear…
Remember: You are called. You are loved. You are a child of the Most High. Selah.