Praying the Bible: When Gripped by Fear

20100430-scared-woman-300x205 Before the Fall there was no fear.  No shame.

When Adam and Eve rejected God’s good for them, a torrent of fear rushed into their souls. Gripped with fear, they tried to hide from God, but to no avail.  All of humanity was thrust into a shameful existence . . . fearful of the Creator, fearful of one another, and fearful of the world which was once a beautiful, welcoming garden.  But God did not leave us alone in fear.

Dear Christian, we have a loving Heavenly Father.  He who did not spare His own Son, but freely delivered him over for us all, will he not also give us all things? (Rom. 8:32).  Since your Heavenly Father has taken care of your greatest need of forgiveness for your sin, will He not also care for all your lesser needs?  Yes, He will for my God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus. (Phil. 4:8)  When we truly grasp His great love for us, the grip of fear in our lives is broken.

To Pray When Gripped by Fear:

Psalm 91

He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty.  I will say to the Lord, “My refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.” For he will deliver you from the snare of the fowler and from the deadly pestilence.  He will cover you with his pinions, and under his wings you will find rest; his faithfulness is a shield and buckler.  You will not fear the terror of the night, nor the arrow that flies by day, nor the pestilence that stalks in darkness, nor the destruction that wastes at noonday.

A thousand may fall at your side, ten thousand at your right hand, but it will not come near you.  You will only look with your eyes and see the recompense of the wicked.  Because you have made the Lord your dwelling place—the Most High, who is my refuge—no evil shall be allowed to befall you, no plague come near your tent.  For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways.  On their hands they will bear you up, lest you strike your foot against a stone.  You will tread on the lion and the adder; the young lion and the serpent you will trample underfoot.

“Because he holds fast to me in love, I will deliver him; I will protect him, because he knows my name.  When he calls to me, I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble; I will rescue him and honor him.  With long life I will satisfy him and show him my salvation.”

For additional resources on Fear, see Resources for Your Walk.

Praying the Bible: Amazed He is Mindful of Me

alone-in-a-crowdIt is estimated that that the world’s population is over 7.3 billion people, and over 108 billion people have been born since time began.

The enormity of these statistics is hard to fathom.  Even more, it’s impossible to comprehend God’s infinite power to form, sustain, and fully know each individual person and the details of their lives.

I am a single drop in a massive sea of humanity; how amazing it is that the Creator of the universe is lovingly mindful of me!

King David was also amazed.  In Psalm 139, he expressed his awe-filled wonder at the Lord’s intimate involvement in his own life.

Take a few quiet moments to thoughtfully pray Psalm 139.  Like David, contemplate the Lord’s presence and power in your life, and praise Him for being mindful of you . . . fully, everywhere, and always!

Praying Psalm 139:

Praise God for His Knowledge of You (v. 1-6)

O Lord, you have searched me and known me!  You know when I sit down and when I rise up; you discern my thoughts from afar.  You search out my path and my lying down and are acquainted with all my ways.  Even before a word is on my tongue, behold, O Lord, you know it altogether.  You hem me in, behind and before, and lay your hand upon me.  Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high; I cannot attain it.

Praise God for His Presence with You (v. 7-12)

Where shall I go from your Spirit?  Or where shall I flee from your presence?  If I ascend to heaven, you are there!  If I make my bed in Sheol, you are there!  If I take the wings of the morning and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, even there your hand shall lead me, and your right hand shall hold me.  If I say, “Surely the darkness shall cover me, and the light about me be night,” even the darkness is not dark to you; the night is bright as the day, for darkness is as light with you.

Praise God for His Plan for You (v. 13-18)

For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb.  I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.  Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth.  Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them,the days that were formed for me,when as yet there was none of them.  How precious to me are your thoughts, O God!  How vast is the sum of them!  If I would count them, they are more than the sand.  I awake, and I am still with you.

Respond by Committing Yourself to Him and His Righteousness (v. 19-24)

Oh, that you would slay the wicked, O God!  O men of blood, depart from me!  They speak against you with malicious intent; your enemies take your name in vain.  Do I not hate those who hate you, O Lord?  And do I not loathe those who rise up against you?  I hate them with complete hatred; I count them my enemies.  Search me, O God, and know my heart!  Try me and know my thoughts!  And see if there be any grievous way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting!

 

Praying the Bible: To Treasure the Word

Woman-Praying-3 (1)I grew up in the San Fernando Valley in southern California, and on a hill overlooking the north side of the valley is the “Odyssey,” a restaurant known for its broad view (if there’s no smog!), special events (we held our wedding reception there), and a mouth-watering buffet overloaded with great food.  The super-sized buffet provides an unusual dose of dining sensory overload.  I just gained two pounds thinking about it.

The world is a different kind of buffet—we are offered, in every imaginable way, a myriad of beliefs and philosophies, most of which will destroy us if we swallow them.  To top it off, we encounter a daily buffet of our own thoughts and feelings which are often untrue, unhelpful, or downright distasteful.  Sometimes we pick at these buffets, and sometimes we eat until we are stuffed.  Then we regret it.

To keep us craving what is good and true, we need a healthy diet of God’s Word, the scriptures of the Old and New Testaments.  To grow spiritually, we must treasure God’s Word as our very sustenance.  As we feed upon it, His thoughts become our thoughts, and His ways become our ways.

As you consider what your soul is feeding upon and how it is affecting you, here are a few verses to pray through today . . .

Sunday Prayer Time:

That I may treasure and value Scripture more than anything else, and that by it the Lord will transform my thinking and living.

“Like newborn babies, long for the pure milk of the word, so that by it you may grow in respect to salvation.” (I Peter 2:2)

“He humbled you and let you be hungry, and fed you with manna which you did not know, nor did your fathers know, that He might make you understand that man does not live by bread alone, but man lives by everything that proceeds out of the mouth of the LORD.” (Deuteronomy 8:3)

“The law of the Lord is perfect, restoring the soul; the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple. The precepts of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart; the commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes. The fear of the Lord is clean, enduring forever; the judgments of the Lord are true; they are righteous altogether. They are more desirable than gold, yes, than much fine gold; sweeter also than honey and the drippings of the honeycomb.  Moreover, by them Your servant is warned; in keeping them there is great reward.” (Psalm 19:7-11)

Have a blessed Sunday!

Cheryl

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Praying the Bible: To Live for Christ

prayer-on-my-knees4Years ago when I attended Bible Study Fellowship, the teacher always began by personalizing and praying aloud through a Psalm.  I still remember those special moments as she led us in prayer each week. Praying Scripture is a wonderful way to pray, as it gives a depth and meaningfulness to our prayers that other times might be lacking.

I love the verse that says, “This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us.  And if we know that He hears us–whatever we ask–we know that we have what we ask of Him” (I John 5:14-15).  His Word is His will, so we can be confident that the Lord hears and answers as we ask for the truth of His Word to bear fruit in our lives.

Each Sunday I plan to post a short, purposeful passage of Scripture you may wish to personalize in your own words and pray for yourself and others. Sunday is an ideal day to set aside additional moments to seek the Lord in prayer, and you will find this to be a cherished habit you will never regret!

Prayer Prompts for Today:  

That my primary purpose in life would be to live for Christ and not for myself.

“For the love of Christ controls us, having concluded this, that one died for all, therefore all died; and He died for all, so that they who live might no longer live for themselves, but for Him who died and rose again on their behalf.” (II Corinthians 5:14-15)

” . . . as it is my eager expectation and hope that I will not be at all ashamed, but that with full courage now as always Christ will be honored in my body, whether by life or by death.  For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.” (Philippians 1:20-21)

Have a blessed Sunday!

Cheryl

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