It’s been said that “Fear is a darkroom where negatives develop.” One sage stated, “Feed your faith and your fears will starve to death.” We all know the spiritual battle of seeking to live by faith but fighting the constant temptation of debilitating fear.
In the midst of a horrendous storm, the fear-struck disciples encountered Christ walking toward them on the water. His simple but powerful words brought assurance: “It is I; do not be afraid” (John 6:20). When we know who He is, experience His presence, and trust His word – our fears are calmed.
In His final discourse with His disciples in the Upper Room, Jesus spoke of His imminent departure and the gift of the Holy Spirit. He challenged His followers, “Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid” (John 14:27). He knew what we have come to experience. The indwelling Spirit works in our spirit to give us, not a spirit of fear, but of power, love, and a sound mind (2 Timothy 1:7).
Prayer, the Word, and Fear
One amazing benefit of a Scripture-fed, Spirit-led, worship-based approach to prayer is that we discover the mind and heart of Christ. As we worship Him, setting aside our own lists and agendas to allow His word and Spirit to direct us into His will, our prayers are biblical, authentic, and transformational.
Prayer Summits are a very powerful environment for this kind of prayer as participants worship, read from the Scriptures, and find the Spirit’s direction in a unifying and revealing experience. One such Summit in recent months brought well over 100 believers to a needful and powerful focus as we addressed our common struggle with fear.
A Group Discovery
On a Saturday morning near Dallas, Texas the Spirit prompted a theme of “fear” through a variety of biblical passages spontaneously read by the participants. Not sensing any specific prayer direction, I asked the group to continue reading specific verses that addressed the issue of fear. Soon, a clear focus emerged based on two of the passages.
The first passage that shaped our prayer focus was Psalm 34:4-5: “I sought the LORD, and He heard me, and delivered me from all my fears. They looked to Him and were radiant, and their faces were not ashamed.”
The second passage came from the story of Jehoshaphat found in2 Chronicles 20:1-30. As a coalition of hostile nations came against Judah, “Jehoshaphat feared, and set himself to seek the LORD, and proclaimed a fast throughout all Judah.” To strengthen Jehoshaphat, the Spirit of the LORD inspired the prophet Jahaziel with this message, “Do not be afraid nor dismayed because of this great multitude, for the battle is not yours, but God’s…Do not fear or be dismayed; tomorrow go out against them, for the LORD is with you” (vv. 15 & 17).
Springing from these verses, we then engaged in a specific and spiritually encouraging prayer focus. I instructed those who felt prompted to pray, “Lord, today I am fearful about _______________________________ (describing a specific battle with fear), but I look to You to deliver me.” In response, I asked all the women to affirm with united voice, “The battle is not yours, but God’s.” Then, I instructed the men to respond, “For the Lord is with you.”
Confession and Reassurance
What followed was a very moving admission of the assorted fears that plague our hearts. Many confessed struggles with fears about family, health, finances, jobs, impending decisions, loneliness, and loss. Yet, as each heart looked to the Lord for deliverance, reassurance and peace followed. The united echo of affirmations from the ladies, followed by the men, brought great encouragement. One after another, believers were strengthened in knowing “The battle is not yours, but God’s” and “The Lord is with you.”
This season of deliverance and reassurance lasted at least 20 minutes. As it came to a close we sang with united voice the affirming truth of the hymn, “It is Well With My Soul.”
He Will Deliver You From Fear
In today’s uncertain world, filled with unpredictable danger and unprecedented change, it is tempting to submit our souls to the plaguing fears that arise. Yet, as we look to the Lord for deliverance, we recognize His transcending grace and the assurance of His presence. He is able to deliver us from all our fears and make our faces radiant.
Take time today to confess, “Lord, I am fearful about _______________________________ (describing your specific battle with fear), but I look to You to deliver me.” Then, borrowing from the prophet’s reassuring words to Jehoshaphat, reaffirm aloud, “The battle is not mine, but God’s.” Then, declare in faith, “For the Lord is with me.”
Special Note: In my book, PRAYzing! Creative Prayer Experiences from A to Z (NavPress), I teach on the core principles for life-giving prayer that springs from the pages of Scripture. The book also features 26 stories of how God’s word has inspired creative prayer experiences that have honored Christ and changed hearts. And we hope you will check out the six-week small group study that accompanies PRAYzing!, titled Wake Up and Pray. If you want prayer to come alive with biblical content and spiritual energy, this series is sure to provide the guidance you need. For more information, CLICK HERE.
Copyright © 2014 Daniel Henderson. All rights reserved.