If you are just joining us here, we have embarked on a book study of Fervent by Priscilla Shirer. If you haven’t read it yet, get your copy HERE. (affiliate link) I also encourage you to go watch the movie War Room if you haven’t yet as it is a great encouragement to be serious about your prayer life. You can also join our Facebook group where we are taking the discussion on this study further throughout the week. If you would like to receive these weekly blog posts in your inbox, sign-up at the end of the post.
If you missed the previous posts, you can check them out here:
- Getting Serious About Prayer
- Praying For Your Passion
- Praying For Your Focus
- Praying For Your Identity
- Praying For Your Family
- Praying About Your Past
Today we are looking at the sixth prayer strategy that is covered in the book:
Praying About Your Fears
Fear. Anxiety. Worry. Concern.
These emotions are so familiar to most of us. Some of us might even say they plague us. They are the daily companion we’d rather not have around. So why do we let them? The opening paragraph from Priscilla Shirer’s chapter on prayer strategy #6 clues us in:
If I were your enemy, I’d magnify your fears, making them appear insurmountable, intimidating you with enough worries until avoiding them becomes your driving motivation. I would use anxiety to cripple you, to paralyze you, leaving you indecisive, clinging to safety and sameness, always on the defensive because of what might happen. When you hear the word faith, all I’d want you to hear is “unnecessary risk.”
Later, she makes this statement:
Fear is one of Satan’s primary schemes for crippling God’s people. I’m not talking about legitimate concern. I’m not talking about the protective warnings of wisdom and godly counsel. I’m talking about fear. Incessant worry. Up-all-night anxiety. Worst-case scenarios becoming the only probabilities you can think about. Fears like these, instead of simply raising our blood pressure, ought to set off some fire alarms. Why am I feeling so paralyzed like this?
I have to confess that I have often let fear run rampant in my life and I feel like this chapter was written for me. Fear has kept me stuck, it’s kept me from moving forward, it’s kept me from fully experiencing life and it’s kept me from taking steps of faith. That’s exactly the experience that the enemy wants me to have, but it’s not the experience that God has intended for me.
For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline. 1 Timothy 1:7 Click To Tweet
Let me tell you, those words are ones I needed to hear this morning! I need to hold on to them closely. This last week is a great example of why.
Last week I wasn’t feeling well, and I didn’t feel like being an adult. I wanted to be indulgent and not do the things I knew I should be doing. As a result, fear started to develop in me and you know what? I started to have thoughts like “I’m not good enough,” and “I’m not self-disciplined,” and “I’m not loving.” Those thoughts are in stark contrast and competition to what this verse is saying.
The Spirit of God is living within me! That means that power, love and yes, even self-discipline are there for my asking. Instead of praying that God would fill me with His Spirit and strengthen me with His power, love and self-discipline, I listened to the enemy and let fear get the better of me.
It makes me mad!
We don’t have to be a slave to sin and fear and shame. We have been given freedom and we can walk in that freedom today!
When I think of the words, “Stand Firm,” it makes me remember to put on the armor of God. Let’s refresh ourselves with the words of Ephesians 6:10-18:
10Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
18And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.
I love the image that the armor of God gives us, because we are doing battle. It’s not always an obvious battle, it’s sly and conniving and manipulative. It is a battle that takes us unawares if we aren’t ready for it and standing firm. So, let’s get praying, shall we?
I’ll leave you with one more quote from the chapter, because I think it’s worded perfectly for us:
Remember these worries of yours? They’re not just stray thoughts; they’re deliberate strategies. Strategies to derail you from your destiny and calling. And the way to fight them is with a deliberate prayer strategy of your own.”
I encourage you to scour your scriptures and find passages that remind you not to fear but to put your trust in God. Use those verses in your prayer strategy. Don’t let the enemy gain any space here, but instead live in the power, love and self-discipline that you have been given.
Sometimes I connect with these blogs during the week.