By Cindi McMenamin, Crosswalk.com
Fear can be debilitating. Almost paralyzing. Until we call upon the One who can defeat and destroy that fear and replace it with indescribable peace.
Yet, even when we know that God is bigger than our fears it can still be paralyzing in the moment to know what to do or even how to pray. Scripture tells us in Philippians 4:6-7: “Be anxious [or fearful] for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus” (NKJV). When we pray even short quick prayers, God will usher in His comforting presence and dispel those fears.
Whether you are frightened about what might happen to yourself or someone else, or if you just want to be prepared for the day your greatest anxiety might be realized, here are six ways to pray through moments of fear.
1. Call on the name of Jesus.
In Psalm 54:1 David prayed, “Save me, God, by Your name, and vindicate me by Your power” (NASB). And Jesus is the name God gave by which we must be saved. In Acts 4:12, we are told “there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among mankind by which we must be saved.” The same name – Jesus – that brings about eternal salvation can conquer the enemy, diminish our fears, and bring us peace.
Jesus is our Comforter. He’s our Counselor. He’s our Strength, our Rock, our Protector, our Power. When we call upon the name of Jesus, the One God has exalted as the name above all names (Ephesians 1:21), we are not only saved eternally, but from our fears as well.
Lord Jesus, I call upon You and the power of Your name to dispel these fears of mine, calm my anxious heart, protect my soul and cover me with Your perfect peace. I ask these things in the powerful name of Jesus. Amen.
2. Pray in faith that God has already accomplished what you’ve asked.
Jesus told us “whatever you ask in prayer, believing, you will receive it all” (Matthew 21:22 NASB). Furthermore, in 1 John 5:14-15, we are told that “if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests which we have asked from Him.”
Ask Jesus for the ability to see that He has already provided for or accomplished all that you need because He knows your requests before you make them. By asking Him for the faith to believe in all He’s capable of, He will certainly give it to you, because it’s His will that you have it.
Lord Jesus, You have told me whatever I ask for in faith, I will receive. I ask that You rid me of these fears, that you stop Satan in his schemes to frighten me, and that You comfort me with Your presence in this moment. Strengthen my faith to know, without a doubt, that You are bigger and stronger than anything that might come my way. Assure me that nothing is more powerful than You. In Your powerful, magnificent name I ask and receive this. Amen.
3. Pray for a stronger love for Jesus.
First John 4:18 tells us, “There is no fear in love, but perfect love drives out fear, because fear involves punishment, and the one who fears is not perfected in love.” Missionary and Author Amy Carmichael once expounded on this verse. She said to love God perfectly is to trust Him immensely and where there is absolute trust there is no fear. Therefore, perfect love for Jesus drives out fear because our love and trust for Him convinces us that nothing can ever touch us that hasn’t first passed through His loving hands. That’s the kind of faith and trust I want to have. Don’t you? That’s the kind of love we can have for Him – a love that allows no room for doubt or fear.
Lord Jesus, I love You, I trust You, and I want that love and trust for You to be so strong that it drives out any reason for fear. Help me to run to You as a child runs to his mother and to know that You will cover me with Your feathers as a mother hen covers her chicks, so that I might hide in the shelter of Your wings (Psalm 91:4, Luke 13:34).
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4. Pray Scripture over your fears.
There is power in the Scriptures. Therefore, when we pray the Word of God we know we are praying according to God’s will. When we pray Scripture passages we are praying His words not our own, and I believe the Spirit immediately intercedes for us because the Spirit knows God‘s Word as well as our minds and hearts and what we need to ask of the father (Romans 8:26-27).
The best way to pray Scripture in your moment of fear is to know the verse ahead of time that you need to pray to dispel fear. Here are a few one-line missile-prayers from God’s that you can say quickly and powerfully:
“Lord, I believe; help my unbelief!” (Mark 9:24 NKJV).
“I called to the Lord, who is worthy of praise, and I have been saved from my enemies” (Psalm 18:3 NIV).
“Be my rock of refuge, to which I can always go; give the command to save me, for you are my rock and my fortress” (Psalm 71:3 NIV).
“My mouth will tell of your righteous deeds of your saving acts all day long – though I know now how to relate them all” (Psalm 71:15 NIV).
5. Praise God amid the fears.
Praising God in the middle of your fearful moments ushers in an immediate sense of His presence. That’s because God inhabits the praises of His people. When we begin to praise God, it changes our perspective from fear or panic to a mindset of worship and adoring trust. You can choose one of these one-line prayers, or string all of them together into one prayer in your moments of fear:
Thank You, God, that You are sovereign over this situation and nothing takes You by surprise.
I praise You, God, for being greater than all my fears.
Lord, You are worthy of my trust.
Jesus, Your Name is above every Name and Your Power is over all – even this situation.
God, I praise You for being loving, good, and kind.
All glory to You, Lord Jesus, for Your protection of Your own.
Lord, You are wise and loving and just. I trust You.
God, You are more powerful than my enemy or anyone who stands in my way.
God, You see all and know all and I rest in You.
6. Recite God’s attributes.
We often believe lies about God – or ourselves – which cause us to fear or doubt. When we focus on the truth of Who Scripture says God is, that truth can renew our minds and help us focus on the facts of God and His Word, rather than on our feelings and fears.
By reminding ourselves of who God really is, we can be convinced, once again, that He is bigger than our fears and capable of anything.
Here are some quick but powerful prayers, based on Scripture, that assure us of God’s character and ability.
“I love You, Lord, my strength. The Lord is my rock, my fortress, and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold” (Psalm 18:1-2 NIV).
“Lord You are my refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble” (Psalm 46:1).
“My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.” (Psalm 73:25).
God, You are good and loving and nothing will be able to separate me from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus my Lord (Romans 8:39).
Thank You, Jesus, that You are ever-present and You will never leave me nor forsake me (Hebrews 13:5).
Lord, You are wisdom and You generously give wisdom to all who ask for it by faith. So, I ask that You give me Your wisdom now (James 1:5).
Lord God, greater are You who is in me than he who is in the world (1 John 4:4).
For more on praying Scripture to alleviate your fears, see Cindi’s soft-padded devotional book, God’s Whispers to a Woman’s Heart.
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Content from this video was taken from the article "A Prayer for Peace Within" on Crosswalk.com: https://www.crosswalk.com/faith/prayer/a-prayer-for-inner-peace.html; Video credits for audio, video, photos: Soundstripe, Storyblocks, LightStock, ThinkStock
Cindi McMenamin is a national speaker, Bible teacher, and award-winning writer who helps women and couples strengthen their relationship with God and others. She is also a mother, pastor’s wife, and author of 17 books, including When Women Walk Alone (more than 150,000 copies sold), When God Sees Your Tears, Letting God Meet Your Emotional Needs, and When a Woman Overcomes Life’s Hurts. For more on her speaking ministry, coaching services for writers, and books to strengthen your soul, marriage, and parenting, see her website: www.StrengthForTheSoul.com.