Are you facing the fear about prayer? Does the question sound odd? Do you think you are alone in your fears? What would happen if you admitted your fears? A friend did that by the request she made. And experience tells me she isn’t the only “inquiring mind” that wants to know! 🙂 This has been a recurring discussion over decades of ministry. So I know there are others. Let’s begin with, and consider, the following thoughts.
This post is a direct result of last week’s Facebook Live post. The point was to ask viewers what subject they would like covered in a post. And since I didn’t get an idea of specific fears, I’ll begin with some general observations.
First, we have a commandment that directly addresses prayer and fear:
Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.
Boldness is the opposite of fear. Our Father tells us we may come with confidence knowing in advance what we will receive: mercy and grace. That’s pretty awesome all by itself. And it should go a long way in facing the fear of prayer.
Second, another commandment sources fears of all kinds:
For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.
So when believers are facing fear, where does it come from? Why does our Father not give us fear? He is
good and perfect in all His ways. His gifts to us can be nothing less than the best. Our Father is the Author, or Source, of every good and perfect gift. Fear is not one of those because fear is debilitating. And God the Father has decreed us to be victorious not victims!
One of the first verses children learn is, God is love. His greatest commandment is to love Him with all our being. And it’s divine love that addresses fear:
There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love.
Facing The Fear: What Do I Say?
I’ve heard this question many times. People are tempted to believe there are ‘right’ things to say in prayer. Their idea of prayer is a ‘correct’ formula. They fear getting the formula wrong and therefore having a prayer that’s wrong. What’s the truth?
First, God knows our inner deceits. He knows the intents of our hearts better than we do. So there is no way to pretend when we pray. God knows our fears and failures even when we are unwilling to own up to them. That alone should free us from fears. If it doesn’t, just remember: HE LOVES US ANYWAY!
Second, consider prayer as a conversation. It’s talking and listening. Sometimes we just need to be quiet before Him and listen. Scripture addresses that idea, too! And we all have a great example of conversation right in front of us!
We have all seen babies learn to talk. Most of us have fond memories of our own children doing that. Now let me ask you a question. Did you ever refuse to talk to your child because they couldn’t speak like you do? Of course not! And if we who are sinful can take that kind of joy in our children, how much more does our perfect Heavenly Father take joy in speaking with His children?
Facing The Fear: Future Thought
I realize this only begins to address a huge subject. But it does provide equally huge principles to guide our thought and discovery. One prayer related fear is praying aloud in public. I didn’t even go there. But two things should follow this.
First, other posts will be needed. How many? That will depend on the second item. And that is discussion. Pastors like to believe our teaching matters the most. I’m not saying it’s unimportant. But we often learn the most from each other. The Apostle Paul expressed confidence in the ability of believers to teach each other.
With that in mind, let me invite you to comment and share your thoughts. Second, I found a great post on Christianity Today. Click the link to read this young lady’s experience in facing the fear of prayer. It is insightful.
Prayer the Ultimate Conversation by Charles Stanley