Listen to even one televised news report and fear or anxiety may capture your thoughts and grip your heart. We do not overcome the effects of ‘the news’ by denying or ignoring the evil in our world that causes such intense emotions, but rather by applying scriptural truth to circumstances and responding biblically.
But it doesn’t take a newscast to stir up fear. The enemy, Satan, wants God’s children to live in constant fear and anxiety as they stockpile worries and are burdened by cares. The Bible says such temptation is “common” to mankind (1 Corinthians 10:13). Even the strongest Christ-followers can experience the temptation to fear and worry.
What does the Bible say about fear and anxiety; and what might we pray to the Lord based on those Scriptures that can help us exchange toxic emotions for God’s wondrous peace? Let’s begin to pray these prayers for anxiety over our thoughts and exchange fear for peace.
1. Remember: God is not the source of anxiety or fear.
For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.” (2 Timothy 1:7)
See also Philippians 4:7.
I know you are not the source of fear and anxiety. That is Satan’s realm, and he delights in causing your children pain. You do not torment us with worrisome thoughts or burden our hearts with fretfulness. You are the God of peace. You desire to give me power over my worries as I count on your love and trust in your sovereign care.
Help me remember, when fears and anxiety come knocking at my heart’s door, to answer with powerful Scripture—to remember you are a good God and faithful, and you will help me challenge my worries with life-building truth instead of destructive thoughts. Your peace will guard my heart and mind in Jesus’ name.\
2. Take your anxieties and concerns to the Lord.
Sometimes it seems like I take my worries everywhere except to you. I hear people say, “God’s got this!” But how often do I live like I believe it?
I know you hear me, Lord, when I bring my concerns to you. You care about what is going on in my life, and I know you want to give me a clear, sound mind. Forgive me when I allow anxious thoughts to cloud my thinking. Help me take my anxieties to you in every circumstance, believing you will intervene and work out your eternal purposes. Give me a thankful heart—a heart that says, “I am grateful for your lovingkindness to me, Father. I know you will work out your plans for my growth, others’ good, and your glory.”
3. Leave anxious thoughts with Jesus.
See also Psalm 55:22.
I am grateful for your sacrifice on the cross to give me life and bring me true freedom. Sometimes I still feel chained to fears and worries when I focus on situations rather than you, my Savior.
Teach me to throw all my anxieties where they belong—into your loving arms. You understand the temptation to fear and worry, and you can handle my concerns. You cared so much for me, you died to enable me to overcome the power of sin, my selfish flesh and Satan’s lies. I can come to you with confidence, giving you all my cares, knowing that you loved me on the cross, love me still, and will love me forever. As I cast my cares on you, you will sustain me with your love and not allow my confidence in you to be shaken.
4. Count on God’s presence.
“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.” (Joshua 1:9)
Sometimes I feel afraid in the tough trials of life. Sometimes the darkness overwhelms me, and I grow discouraged as I face the uncertainties of life, wearying temptations, or scary attacks from the enemy. But this is not what you have for me, and my victory comes from you.
Satan wants me to believe I fight my spiritual battles by myself. Help me remember I am not alone in my battles. Your Word is clear. You have commanded me to be strong and take courage in you, and that is my desire. I can count on your presence wherever I go, and rely on the power and provision of your presence in my times of deepest need. Thank you for being near, for walking with me every day.
5. Don’t borrow future worries.
“Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” (Matthew 6:34)
See also Matthew 6:25.
Sometimes I’m such a ‘worry wart.’ I fuss about all sorts of things—what I will eat and wear today, and the many choices I can make. But worse, I stew over things on tomorrow’s calendar—concerns that aren’t even here yet! That is so foolish.
Your words were clear, Jesus. I am never to worry about what’s going to happen tomorrow, because you haven’t given me the grace to bear up under tomorrow’s concerns until I get there. So I will not borrow worries from the future, Lord. Rather, I will invest in faith. I will choose to look for your hand working on my behalf today—and trust you, in simple faith, for my future.
6. Eliminate any misplaced fear.
“Therefore, we may boldly say: The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?” (Hebrews 13:6)
See also Psalm 21:1; 6:3-4.
I am so human-focused sometimes. I know it’s natural to be concerned about what others think, but you want me to live supernaturally, living according to your truth instead of the changing whims of the culture. I need to get rid of misplaced fear. You want me to fear you—to live in reverential awe of you, desiring to do your will—and not to fear man.
I know as I trust you fully, I will not give in to my distresses. I will not live in fright or dread or terror. You go before me to cast down all the giants that would make me be afraid or cause me to live with anxiety. Lord, make me bold in facing my fears, knowing you are my heavenly helper!