Thoughts on Prayer: Fog, Fear, Faith
(Thank you to Amanda and the women in the Bible study I am attending for the discussion on this very topic.)
Be anxious for nothing but, by prayer and supplication let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God shall guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.
I have been thinking about fear lately. Current world events naturally tend to take one’s thoughts down the road called “What If…” One can easily trip along its pathway which is littered with doubt, anxiety, dread, and fear. I had an epiphany- of sorts- on the way to work one morning. I was thinking about the world situation: militant extreme religious groups beheading people, countries in economic flux, people gravely ill, hurting, and suffering. I had conversations with folks who were fear-filled because of current happenings throughout the earth. I was praying for people who were facing certain death and various trials, when I realized I was praying from the position of an anxious heart. A Bible verse immediately came to mind: But God-I do love that phrase, has not given us a spirit of fear but of power, love and a sound mind. Immediately my heart leapt. I knew how to pray! My prayers changed because the position from which I was praying changed.
I began praying as someone who is a child of the King of kings and Lord of lords. My King and my Lord has conquered death and the grave. He holds the keys to life and death. His position is at the right hand of his father. On a throne no less! It is from this position he intercedes/prays for us. When we come to Christ through repentance and faith, God puts us in his son, Jesus Christ. We become heirs to the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ. We are sons and daughters of the God Most High because of Jesus’ death on the cross, burial, and resurrection from the grave. We are his representatives here on earth. We are to re-present him to a world in tumultuous times. We can only do this from a position of faith in who he is.
The enemy loves to cloud the truth of who we are in Christ and who he is in us. Fear is a tool he uses often. It causes foggy thinking, doesn’t it? We forget our position as dearly beloved children of the God Most High. We lose focus. Our nervous thoughts scatter to a million places and our fickle feelings follow. Before we know it, we are paralyzed and in distress. The peace promised to us if we pray is nonexistent. Here’s the thing about the fog of fear: it has the appearance of being solid. The phrase: “The fog was so thick you could have cut it with a knife.” is probably a familiar one. Question: have you ever tried cutting through fog with a knife? It has no substance. But the illusion fools all our senses. If we rest our faith on the mirage of fear, we will collapse.
Faith must have an object. For example: if we sit on chair we have a reasonable expectation it will hold us up. We have faith in the chair’s ability to support us. We know the reliability of this truth because we sit on said chair often. It is the same with God and his word. As we read it, pray it, memorize it, meditate on it, and share it with others, we discover the reliability of it. We see it change us. We witness the transformative effect it has on/in others. We learn God is faithful. He will never leave us nor forsake us. We begin to see clearly as the fog of fear evaporates in the light of his word/Word. Light melts away fog.
As you pray, take the time to listen. Are you walking on What If Road? Are anxious thoughts creeping in? If so, take them captive and fight the good fight of faith. Rehearse the truth of what God says about you and your circumstances by reading the Bible. It is his written word to you. Find scripture which will combat anxious thoughts, sleepless nights, and the fog of fear. Share these with a friend. In doing so, you will find you are not alone. And, you will have encouraged another person in their faith also.
May the peace of Christ guard you through and through. May He surround you in His Shalom. May you find He is your very present help in time of trouble. May you know His peace-filled presence in these turbulent days. May you see the light of His truth vaporize the fog of fear. May you pray bold fearless prayers from this day forward.